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What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

Found this video via the British Journal of Sports Medicine blog the other day and thought I’d share here as well. Dr. Mike Evans provides a very creative answer to the following question: “What is the single best thing we can do for our health.”

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. Nice. Simple and entertaining.

  2. I liked this! Sent it to my cardiopulm professor.  

  3. Nicole Lacoste says:

    You are kind of preaching to the choir here Peter!! But isn’t it amazing that people need to be told to move for 30 minutes a day? I know after a few days on the couch sick or injured I am going crazy.  

  4. Mark Cucuzzella says:

    thanks Pete, sent this to large grop of med students and residents at WVU.
    Mark Cucuzzella MD

  5. Indy Mazumder says:

    Doctor Bortz says the following about Running(excerpted from his book, Kindle edition):


    We seem to generally accept the idea that running is “good for you.” It has long been known that running has immediate cardiovascular benefits. But what of the overall role of running as a mediator of comprehensive health? And what measurable effect might a consistent program of running have on longevity? 

    At the Stanford University Medical Center, beginning in 1984, some 500 older runners were tracked for more than 20 years, and their health and fitness measured against a similar group of non-runners. The mean age of the subjects at the start of the study was 59. In 1984, the conventional wisdom was that vigorous exercise would most likely be harmful to older people, that the weakening effects of aging would make them susceptible to injury and breakdown. At the very least, the thinking went, there would be orthopedic injuries, particularly knees, ankles, and hips. The researchers hypothesized that consistent exercise with a high energetic throughput (that is, hard workouts) would enhance and extend the quality of life, and help keep the exerciser free of disabilities. At the time, longevity was not an issue; rather, researchers focused on the idea of minimizing the period toward the end of life when people began to lose their self-efficacy. The idea became known as the “compression of morbidity” theory. Not surprisingly, the runner group lived longer and healthier lives, with significantly fewer common illnesses or disabilities. What wasn’t expected was that the runner group was found to be only half as likely to die from major illnesses, including cancer, neurological diseases, and infections, than the non-running group. 

    At the beginning of the study period, the participants ran, on average, close to four hours per week. Twenty-one years later, the average had dropped to 76 minutes per week, but that is still around 25 minutes every other day, a very reasonable benchmark for most people, but noteworthy considering the mean age of the group was 78. Toward the end of the study, with participants now in their seventies and eighties, only 15 percent of the runners had died, compared to 34 percent of the non-runners. For those runners who encountered disabilities during the study period, those disabilities set in a full 16 years later, on average, than they did for the non-runners, a truly startling discovery. The lead investigator, emeritus professor of medicine James Fries, noted, “The study has a very pro-exercise message. If you had to pick one thing to make people healthier as they age, it would be aerobic exercise. The health benefits of exercise are greater than we thought.”

    Bortz, Walter M., IIMD; Stickrod, Randall (2010-04-13). The Roadmap to 100 (Kindle Locations 832-841). Palgrave Macmillan. Kindle Edition. 

  6. Whotrustedus says:

    This is a presentation technique that my company is using extensively in it’s sales efforts.   We call it whiteboarding.   Instead of having a salesman drone on & on in front of Powerpoint slides, we’ve developed a whole set of these whiteboards and we teach our sales people how to exploit the technique with prospective customers.   This is the most effective face to face but it can also work  during online webinar type setting.  Our drawings tend to be bit more simplistic so that they can drawn “live” but it is the same idea.  

  7. Mike from Parwan says:

    Reminded me of a poster I saw on FB the other day with the following message: “Ask your doctor if getting off your ass if right for you.”

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