What would you think of a treatment that guaranteed you were almost three times less likely to die from a disease than those who did not get the treatment? What would you think if I also told you that the treatment was easy, and some would even say fun? Interested? Now, what if I told you the treatment was free? Do I have your attention?
One long-term study followed 2,014 men for 22 years to see whether this treatment could increase life span. Some of the men received the treatment only a few days a week. The unfortunates in the control group did not receive any therapy at all.
At the end of the study, 131 of the men had died. Of these, 95 (73.6%) were from the control group, and only 36 (26.4%) were from the therapy group. The treatment? Regular exercise.
Yeah, I know you're disappointed. Exercise can be boring, painful, and a real hassle. But you don't have to exercise for hours on end, run yourself into the ground, or hurt yourself to get dramatic results. In fact, the results of mild exercise are better than you might expect. It decreases death from heart disease, ulcers, depression, cancer, stroke, infections, and diabetes. It also improves your sex life, and helps you sleep better.
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But the results are even more impressive than that. I've told you in the past about preventing cancer by shifting your body to a fat-burning metabolism. Exercise is a critical factor in making this shift. I showed you how glucose is the fuel that drives the cancer engine. The more glucose you have, the more fuel cancer has to grow. Well, exercise is one of the fastest ways to burn excess glucose in your body. Regular exercise speeds up your metabolism and burns the glucose before it can feed cancer. By shifting to a fat-burning metabolism and exercising every day, your chances of getting cancer are almost zero.
What is regular exercise? Just take 30 minutes out of every day. During that time, walk at a pace that just slightly increases your breathing rate. And then, every three minutes go really hard and fast for only 30 seconds. After this 30-second period, slow way down until your breathing rate comes down to where it was during the first three minutes.
Once it does, stay at that pace for another three minutes. Then go fast again for another 30 seconds. Keep repeating this cycle of three minutes easy and 30 seconds hard until your 30-minute exercise period is over.
I like to do this the first thing in the morning. It makes me feel great, and seems to be the only time I can fit it into my busy schedule. I do it no matter where I am. Even if I'm on vacation. It fits right into my health budget. And it's never too late to start getting the benefits.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Erikksen, G., et al. “Changes in physical fitness and mortality,” The Lancet, 352:759-762, 1998.
In-Tele-Health A9 2002 (from Hyperhealth Pro CD-ROM).