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Lack of exercise is twice as deadly as obesity

Lack of exercise is twice as deadly as obesity

Do you spend more fretting about your weight than exercising at the gym? Shift the balance more towards getting active and you can probably forget about those scales.

We've already looked at exercise being the miracle medicine. No surprise then that a lack of exercise has the exact opposite effect.

According to a new study from Cambridge University, inactivity causes many more health problems than obesity. It seems it’s much better to be fat and fit, than thin and inactive. 

Why is inactivity so bad?

When we’re active, our largest muscles produce many beneficial molecules. These include enzymes which clean out noxious fats from the bloodstream. And remember we reap these benefits whatever we weigh.  

But when we’re sedentary it’s like the light has gone out in these muscles. Our bodies are much less effective at removing fats and good cholesterol levels can drop.  This increases the risk of many serious health conditions such as heart disease, cancer,  Alzheimer’s, diabetes, osteoporosis, and of course increases the risk of obesity.

Boost your activity

It’s abundantly clear that we need to get active, not just stand on the scales each morning and choose the low-cal options at Starbucks. But while you can’t simply exercise away the harmful effects of being too sedentary, you can certainly help redress the balance:

  • Walk around for a minute at least twice an hour to keep those large muscles switched on.
  • Aim for at least 20 minutes of exercise a day. Current NHS guidelines recommend adults do at least 2 ½ hours of moderate aerobic exercise per week, plus muscle-conditioning exercises at least twice a week. 
  • Do whatever gets you moving. Try fitness gadgets, use cheap gym passes, train for a challenge or just simply walk. Aim for variety and enjoyment. 

It’s a simple message. Make exercise, not calories,  your number one health priority.  That’s probably the best ever fitness resolution for 2015.   

the author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for Hussle. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.