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Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past several decades, you know that exercise is good for you, and too much time sitting on your bum is one of the best ways to increase your risk of disease and early death.

A new study published in JAMA of over 122,000 people made this even clearer. The researchers found that:

  • High fitness levels were associated with the longest lifespans, in a continuous and linear fashion, i.e., the more a person exercised, the longer their lifespan was. (Note: This conflicts with previous research suggesting that too much exercise may be harmful.)
  • Not exercising at all is “the equivalent of having a major disease” like diabetes, in terms of mortality risk.
  • Being “unfit” is a greater predictor of early death than being a smoker.

Exercise is one of those interventions that makes sense on every level:
it reduces the risk of disease, extends lifespan, improves mental health, and feels good—once you get over that initial hump.

In addition to exercise, limiting the amount of time you spend sitting is also important. In fact, that’s probably the best first step to take if you’re currently sedentary: standing and walking more and doing low-intensity yoga or cycling. Then you can add more intense exercise after that.

Most important (in my mind, at least) is to find a type of activity or exercise that you enjoy. Otherwise, you’ll be far less likely to stick with it. Do what you LOVE!!

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