Are you sitting down? I have some bad news. Actually, no, stand up and start jogging in place. Because according to a new study, lack of fitness is the number two predictor for an early death, beaten only by smoking.
Almost 800 men participated in a study done by Swedish scientists starting at midlife where they analyzed mortality rates by following up with them for 45 years.
What did the researchers figure out? Higher levels of fitness meant a lower risk of early death -- 21 percent lower risk, in fact. It's important to start working out at a young age, but the research suggested it's even more so to keep it up during middle age.
Smoking was always thought of as having the strongest connection with mortality and the researchers were surprised how much fitness mattered too. Fitness levels actually had more of an effect on early mortality than high blood pressure and high cholesterol. That's pretty insane.
Heart disease is still the leading cause of death, according to the World Health Organization, so scientists studied closely what actually causes it. Turns out those who were more active throughout their lives were less likely to be affected by risk factors like smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Let's just be clear, lack of fitness doesn't cause death. It's just a factor of early death risk.
If you're still sitting down, I honestly don't know what else I can tell you to make you start being more active.
Be honest with yourself. How often do you move your body? I'll be honest, some nights I get home from work, I hop right back on my computer and do more work until bed time. Hustling too hard comes with a price. It's good to get away from the desk and sitting more often than not.
Even just walking or running super slowly for 30 minutes a day -- not necessarily at the gym -- can help you live a longer and healthier life. Walking, people!
Anything is better for you than absolutely nothing.