Exercise Fitness Benefits YOU Regardless Of Weight

pre diabetes exercise metabolic syndrome managementMany people develop type 2 diabetes and prediabetes metabolic syndrome as they enter middle-age due to an increase in body mass index (BMI) and decreased physical fitness. These two factors often play off one another in a downward spiral of increasingly poor health leading to the elements of pre-diabetes metabolic syndrome. This does not have to be the case, it really isn’t that difficult to avoid this downward health spiral.  One of the objectives of this site is to inform and motivate people to maintain their health through improved nutrition, exercise and lifestyle.  if you are able to maintain some degree of physical fitness into middle-age, research suggests a longer life with less chance of dying from cardiovascular disease.

A recent study, published in Circulation (December 2011), has shown that men who were physically fit in their 40s, and maintained that fitness level for a decade, reduced their risk of dying from any cause by 30% compared with men in their 40s who were out of shape. The researchers looked at body mass index, and the fitness level of these study participants in an effort to determine how BMI, and fitness level (calculated with a treadmill test) relates to dying from any cause as well as dying from cardiovascular disease.

They followed 14,345 men–at an average 44 years of age–for 11.4 years, and observed that those men  who maintained their baseline fitness levels had a 27% lower risk of cardiovascular disease death, and those who improved their fitness had a 39 % and 42 % lower risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease death, respectively, compared with those who remained unfit.

Body mass index (BMI) status had little impact on the risk of death in those who remained fit. So, it appears that preventing fitness loss as one ages, regardless of whether BMI changes, is important for a longer life with less chance of dying from cardiovascular disease.

Those unfit participants that died also had other findings that are improved through even modest exercise to maintain even some level of fitness.

They:

Were older than survivors
Had higher blood pressures
Had higher fasting glucose levels
Had higher total cholesterol
They were more likely to be smokers
They were more likely to have a parent with cardiovascular disease.

Science researchers often use “all cause mortality” as a means of evaluating whether something is beneficial.  It seems to me that there should be a better indicator as to whether a particular supplement, diet, exercise or lifestyle recommendation is beneficial. People generally aren’t motivated to act on their behalf for some benefit they may or may not achieve in 30-40 years.  especially if it involves a benefit that in the end is perceived as futile since we are all going to succumb to some cause of mortality anyway.  

I would like to see a metric devised that evaluates a contemporaneous, or at least near future, benefit to a particular lifestyle choice as well as potentially prolonging life.  

Consider adding some form of exercise into your lifestyle.  Start with something simple like a walk around the block every other night.  It doesn’t take much.  If you are in your 40s, you should pay special attention to your lower extremities.  Exercise that includes strengthening, stretching, balancing and coordination movements are especially helpful for the lower extremities as we age.  The feet and legs are our means of movement and should be given special attention.  Movement is essential for healthy aging.

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About Robert Creighton

Dr. Creighton is a podiatrist and foot surgeon with over 26 years in podiatric practice treating thousands of patients afflicted with the physiological, physical, and psychological side effects and complications of diabetes and pre-diabetes metabolic syndrome. He believes these disorders present a pressing public health concern that need to be more actively addressed in a multidisciplinary way. Dr. Creighton graduated from what is now the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine after receiving his undergraduate degree in Biology. He is certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery, a member of the American Public Health Association, an American College of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and a Member of the American Nutrition Association.

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