Physical activity is essential to maintaining weight and improving overall health—but with a busy schedule, it can be tough to squeeze in exercise. Sometimes hitting the gym feels like an impossible task!
If you need a more motivation to squeeze in that next workout, consider this: A new study published in JAMA Open suggests that not getting enough exercise could be worse for your health than smoking or chronic disease. When Cleveland Clinic researchers tracked mortailty rates for more than 120,000 participants over 23 years, they found that their performance on treadmill tests for cardiorespiratory fitness was directly associated with reduced risk of early death. Poor fitness levels, on the other hand, were linked to higher death rates—at comparable or even higher rates than traditional risk factors like tobacco use, diabetes, or heart disease.
Fortunately, staying in shape doesn’t have to mean following a regimented workout plot every day. Here are some simpler ways I like to fit fitness into my everyday life.
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