Everyone knows that smoking can cause lung diseases, heart diseases, and cancer. In extreme cases, it can wipe off up to 10 years from one’s life and cost hundreds of dollars on health care expenses.
A new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology has revealed that lack of exercise and poor diet can affect your health and lifespan, just like smoking. The study, conducted among middle-aged men, suggested that prolonged absence of fitness activities and nutritious diet from one’s lifestyle can cause many diseases and even premature death.
Several other studies that tracked people’s lifestyle for 10 to 20 years too came up with the same conclusion – lack of exercise and bad diet is harmful to the fitness and health of a person. A famous report called the ‘Study of Men Born in 1913’ and another study in 1963 conducted among 1000 middle-aged men in Gothenburg came out with similar results.
A range of factors such as the weight, height, cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugar of the patients were measured. And their habits – whether they smoked or not and if they exercised – were also noted. Four years later, the same group of men was asked to take a series of aerobic tests. The results were used to derive a new formula that allowed scientists to estimate the aerobic capacity of individuals based on their health and fitness habits.
The aerobic capacity of a person is influenced by two main factors: lifestyle and genetics. Some percentage of a person’s aerobic capability is inherited from his/her parents, but the most of it is determined by his/her lifestyle, the study concluded. VO2 max (the formula) was found to be lower in people who didn’t lead a healthy lifestyle, and it was higher in individuals who exercised regularly.
Of course, a decade or two doesn’t cover the entire lifespan of a person but it’s the closest researchers can practically keep track of, and the results seem to be pretty accurate considering the fact that a majority of the obese people and malnutrition-prone kids are suffering from dangerous health problems.
Physical Effects of Inadequate Exercise
Lack of exercise can cause problems like obesity, back pain, neck pain, knee pain, diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, stroke, and infertility. In the long term, it can also lead to quick aging and limitations in physical movements.
Mental Effects of Inadequate Exercise
The common mental effects of inadequate exercise include poor sleep, stress, anxiety, depression, and poor memory.
If you have limited time to drive up to the gym, make sure you set up your own garage gym on a low cost and start exercising today so you can stay away from a range of physical and emotional problems.
Physical Effects of Poor Diet
Abnormal eating or starvation is the common cause of poor nutrition. Some short-term effects of this include weak immunity and frequent illness, and long-term effects range from heart diseases to gallstone formation to diabetes and cholesterol.
Mental Effects of Poor Diet
Lack of vitamins and minerals in one’s diet can lead to problems in the nervous system. In infants, malnutrition is very common and in adults, forgetfulness and loss of memory are the most prevalent effects of poor nutrition. Lack of nutrition in pregnant women can hamper the health of the baby and affect the development of organs. Poor diet is also linked to depression and stress-related problems in people.
These are some of the most common problems associated with poor diet and lack of exercise. However, doctors say that many of these problems will disappear when people start exercising and eating healthy. So, if you had been ignoring exercise and nutrition all these years, make sure to start focusing on what you eat and do and lead a healthy and happier life starting today.