A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says you may have a greater chance of dying early if you don’t exercise than you do if you’re obese.
The 12-year study of Europeans showed that people who are overweight or obese can reduce their risk of early death by 16 to 30 percent by doing moderate exercise equivalent to a brisk 20-minute daily walk.
Nationally known nutritionist and fitness expert Chazz Weaver said you’ll find evidence that overweight people can stay healthy with exercise: Just look at the offensive linemen on a college or pro football team.
“Although they are obese in every sense of the word, while they are playing during their career, their health is still relatively really well,” he said. “That’s because they’re training all of the time.”
Once those athletes stop playing football, they typically remain at their playing weight but discontinue their training, which leads to a decline in their health. Weaver said the average lifespan of a football offensive lineman is about 54 years.
“The human body is designed to move. If it doesn’t move, it deteriorates rapidly,” he said.
According to the London Daily Telegraph, researchers found that nearly 700,000 deaths in Europe in 2008 were attributable to a lack of exercise or activity. That is nearly double the amount of Europeans who died of obesity-related causes that year.
Weaver said taking that daily walk will put you on the road to better health.
“(Once you exercise) you’re starting to lose body fat and you’re starting to lead a more active lifestyle,” he said.