Researchers at Stanford University studied 6213 men (average age 59) who were referred for exercise testing. Each man was hooked to an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine to monitor their heart’s activity while they walked and ran on a treadmill. Based on their blood pressure, heart rate, exercise capacity and medical records the men were classified as having cardiovascular disease or not.
Six years later, the researchers used the Social Security Death index to determine which of the men had died. They discovered the men with the lowest exercise capacity were more than 4 times likely to die than the men with the highest. This was true even if they had cardiovascular disease.
Exercise capacity was the strongest predictor of death in men and actually outranked smoking and history of chronic disease. But this study just involved men, you may have noticed. What about women?
Exercise is also linked to a reduction in the risk of colon, prostate, and breast cancer—a 14 year study of 25,624 Norwegian women found breast cancer was reduced 37% among those exercising 7 days a week.
Study after study has shown the beneficial effect of exercise in treating mild to moderate depression. Approximately 19 million Americans suffer from depressive orders; very few realize that a jog around the block will make them feel better. Even more amazing are the studies that show seniors who engage in exercise at least three times a week can cut their risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia by as much as 40%.
If you want to die early, just sit on your butt all day. However, you don’t have to get old the way you might think—you can become a radically new person. Over 50% of all illnesses and injuries over the last 1/3 of your life can be eliminated! Instead of succumbing to the normal decay associated with aging—the sore joints, lack of energy, weakness, irritability, etc., you can get stronger and feel younger. In fact, in a biological sense—you can be younger.
To find out if exercise testing could predict mortality in women, scientists tested 2,994 women between 30 and 80 years of age using the “Bruce treadmill protocol,” which measures the amount of oxygen a person can consume and utilize.
Not too surprisingly, the results were similar to men—an increase in mortality among women with the least amount of endurance. Women in the test who were below the median of all those tested had a 3.5-fold increased risk of cardiovascular death.