In an innovative video that draws a complete picture of the answer, Dr. Mike Evans asks the question "What is the single best thing we can do for our health?"
It turns out that whether a person wants to reduce the risk of knee arthritis, dementia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, hip fractures, anxiety, depression, fatigue and low quality of life, the key is exercise.
"The best thing you can do for your health is to spend half an hour being active," said Evans, an associate professor of family medicine and public health at the University of Toronto. "Low fitness was the strongest predictor of death."
The 9-minute video is worth a watch.
Happily, a survey shows more doctors like Evans are telling their patients to get out and exercise. Nearly 33 percent of adults who went to the doctor in the previous year said their doctor told them to be more physically active. In 2000, just 23 percent did, the survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed.
The survey found more women were told to do so than men, reports Mike Stobbe of The Associated Press. Of patients with chronic health issues, diabetics were told the most often. Cancer patients were least likely.
The widest margin of increase was in patients ages 85 and older. In 2000, just 15 percent were told by their doctors to exercise. In 2010, nearly 30 percent were. "It's very encouraging that doctors feel people at that age still have time to live and can make their health better," said Pat Barnes, a CDC health statistician who was the lead author of the report. (Read more)