The Atlantic had a wonderful link to a video by Dr. Mike Evans at the University of Toronto, drawn by Lisa Sorsa and produced by Nick de Pencier. Dr. Evans describes a medical treatment that is almost breathtaking in its effectiveness.
Among other things, it can reduce the symptoms of knee arthritis by 48%, anxiety by 48%, and progression to full-blown diabetes by 58% in those at risk of developing it. At low doses, it can reduce depression symptoms by 30% and at high doses it can reduce them further to 47%. Even better, overall risk of death declines by 23%. Best of all though, it greatly reduces fatigue and improves quality of life.
What is the treatment?
Fortunately, it’s not just another pill. To rephrase Dr. Evans’ premise, you can continue sleeping, sitting and watching TV for 23 1/2 hours per day as long as you get up and walk for a total of 30 minutes per day. Yes, exercise is the treatment, the medicine if you will, and the dose is 1/2 hour per day. Better yet, though the greatest differences are seen with 20-30 minutes of exercise, more benefits occur with more exercise.
Many people worry about their weight, but exercise (even without weight loss) greatly reduces many of the risks associated with obesity. Worse, obesity plus no exercise results in early death but, more importantly, poor quality of life. It turns out that low fitness is the strongest predictor of early death.
Check out the video. It may be the most important nine minutes of your day.