A Fit Smoker? Fit Wins Anyway


Fit people live longer and feel better.

Not exactly news. And not surprising. What is surprising is the extent that science is showing that fitness wins and the low level of fitness needed to get a benefit.

Did you know that fitness makes a bigger difference in whether you live longer than smoking, high blood pressure or high cholesterol?  How about that you can reverse many of the effects of sitting all day long with just a short bout of walking? How about that one of the ways to determine if you are fit enough to benefit is to ask yourself a simple question?

If not, here are the facts, short and to the point. For those of you who want more information or like to look at the actual research, the studies are footnoted below.

Here we go!

Fit people, even if they smoke and have high cholesterol and blood pressure, have a lower risk of death than unfit people who don’t smoke, have high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to tell you to go get fit so you can smoke, drink, eat poorly etc...On the other hand, it didn’t mention drinking...but it does show the power of being fit.

The fact that those defined as fit can still smoke, have high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure begs the question: How do you define fit? The answer is, it’s relative. This study divided people between the least fit (lower 20%), moderately fit (next 40%), highly fit (top 40%).

Action to take: Get yourself out of the bottom 20%.

How do you know if you are in the bottom of fitness? Well, you can always get tested, but a 2015 study found one question to be very telling:

“How do you rate your cardio-respiratory fitness compared to your peers?”

Answer that question to yourself for yourself. Higher or lower?

People who rated themselves lower than their peers have a 91% greater chance of dying of cardiovascular disease than those who rate themselves higher than their peers.

Action to take: Get fitter than the person next to you at work, at church, or at your weekly poker game.

Fidgeting your legs for 1 minute out of every 5 minutes setting will prevent deterioration to the lining of your blood vessels caused by prolonged sitting?

Also, the damage done to your blood vessels by 6 hours of continuous setting could be reversed by a 10 minute walk (at a pace of approx. 1000 steps)?

Action to take: Walk, fidget...simply move. Stand up at least once every half hour.

Exercise increases your energy by increasing the number of structures in your cells that produce energy (mitochondria) regardless of your age?

Exercise improves thinking by helping to create new brain cells?

Exercise reduces depression 58% in 8 weeks?

Action to take: Get your exercise. Start where you are and do something you enjoy that also increases your heart and respiration rate. Get a personal trainer, DO SOMETHING! (After clearing it with your doctor, of course.)

With all the benefits you can get just by being more fit than the average person in your age group, which is not difficult to do, you realy have no excuse.

Get fitter and live longer!

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