Proof Exercise Is Great for You
Thankfully great news on exercise is always forthcoming and here are three notable headlines:
- An analysis involving a total of 218,000 study subjects found that regular physical activity can stifle the effects of the powerful FTO gene. The FTO gene is one of the most common and well-documented genetic markers for obesity risk. (Another remarkable example of lifestyle overruling bad genes!) (PloS Medicine, November 2011)
- A clinical trial conducted by Swedish researchers found that regular aerobic exercise (in this case 40 minutes on a stationary bike three times a week) was as effective as a standard prescription drug for the prevention of migraine headaches. Additionally, exercise therapy was free of any side effects other than improved fitness. (Cephalalgia, September 2011)
- An analysis from the world’s largest fitness database found that a person’s fitness level (as measured by peak oxygen uptake or V02 peak) correlated very strongly with the risk of metabolic syndrome. Specifically, women whose VO2 peaks were below the median were five times more likely to have metabolic syndrome vs. those with the highest VO2 measures. For men, measures below the median translated to an eightfold (yikes!) higher risk of metabolic syndrome. (Metabolic syndrome is currently an epidemic in America and is defined by the presence of multiple cardiovascular risk factors occurring together.) Understandably, it dramatically boosts the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and type 2 diabetes.