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A new study has found that people with a sedentary lifestyle live longer than marathon runners. The study by Dr. Martin Matsumura, co-director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Leigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, PA, confounds expectations, with Dr Matsumura commenting: "Our study didn't find any differences that could explain these longevity differences.."
Dr Matsumura studied 3,800 men and women runners with an average age of 46, with 70% running greater than twenty miles a week.
Dr. James O'Keefe, Director of preventive cardiology at the Mid-American Heart Institute in Kansas City has added that an optimal training regime is "..about two or three times per week, for a total of one to 2.5 hours." He concluded by saying "If you want to run a marathon, run one and cross it off your bucket list."
The jogging revolution began in 1977 when Jim Fixx published The Complete Book of Running. It sold a million copies and was highly influential in starting a fitness revolution. At the age of 35 he was 240 pounds and smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. He slimmed down by 60 pounds to 210, only to die in 1984 at the age of 52 from a heart attack while out jogging.
People also mentioned his previous two-pack-a-day smoking habit, but it is generally agreed that quitting around the age of thirty five restores you to the mortality of someone who has never smoked.
In addition, you have to add the cost of sports and jogging injuries that cost the National Health Service £0.75 billion a year, and twenty nine million visits to doctors additionally with the early mortality.
It is also untrue that smokers and the obese are a financial burden on society.
In a study paid for by Dutch taxpayers in 2008 and initiated by the Dutch Health Ministry, statisticians and actuaries calculated the lifetime costs of treating the healthy, obese and smokers from the age of twenty to death, the results were startling.
The lifetime costs in Euros were:
Healthy: €281,000
Obese: €250,000
Smokers: €220,000
Even in pre-Obamacare America, with a true market in healthcare insurance, this study published in 1997 by the New England Journal of Medicine found "In our study, lifetime costs for smokers can be calculated as $72,700 among men and $94,700 among women, and lifetime costs among non-smokers can be calculated as $83,400 and $111,000."
So rather than being a cost to society the obese and smokers are net contributors. Old people, often with dementia and Alzheimer's disease in care homes are the major reason for otherwise fit people costing more to treat
Many believe in the principle of whatever makes your boat float, so chose your lifestyle and pursue your happiness with moderation.