What has another year of research taught us about the effects of lifestyle on our prospects for attaining the best health? In general what we had known was reinforced with “multiple exclamation marks.” Of course, research reports don’t have exclamation points, highlighting or underlining. What these reports have are valuable numbers that improve our understanding of how to provide the best health recommendations.
The first important number is a refined estimate of the increased risk for premature death resulting from people being inactive. The increased risk is 42% which makes it comparable to the increased risk from being a heavy smoker. While the results are not entirely new, the study certainly added a few more exclamation marks to the view that ‘sitting is the new smoking’ when it comes to health risk.
The second number is $2,500 and is the amount of money you would likely save annually on medical costs related to heart disease if you walked for 30 minutes a day.
Our understanding of sports related injuries has also improved in the previous year. The evidence is clearer that children with even one concussion are more likely to underperform in school and, as adults, experience lingering mental and physical problems.
Lifestyle choices make a difference. For more about discoveries made in the previous year that can make a difference in your health and wellbeing read “Savings, Longevity and the Year in Fitness”
As for the health benefits of Vitamin W, perhaps you guessed – it’s the ‘Walking Vitamin.’ Unfortunately it’s not a pill and may never be. You only get it by walking or other exercises. Regardless of how you get it, I generally recommend at least 30 minutes a day of this miracle vitamin.
Want the amazing benefits of an extra dose? Join me for a Saturday morning walk.
Nancy Neighbors, MD