In one of this past week’s Wall Street Journal I read an article by Kevin Helliker titled, “100 Miles on the Bike? Might as Well Play Golf.” Yeah, it got my attention.
The premise is based on the findings of a new study that suggests that a round of golf can confer longevity benefits just as robust as a 100-mile bike ride that appeared in the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal. The study states, “Engaging in cycling and rowing (high cardiovascular intensity) had no added survival benefit compared with playing golf or cricket (low cardiovascular intensity).”
The article takes this stance in part due to high intensity workouts cause our bodies to deal with all kinds of micro traumata. Over time, the accumulation of damage can be explained as a form of aging.
Hmmm. Nope, I don’t buy it. Plus, the study looks at longevity of life, not life quality.
That led me to this study that was reported in USAToday on Tuesday, 12/11/12. The article is titled, “Longevity masks unhealthy lifestyles.” Two of the stats this article throughs out there are 27.8% of adults are obese and 26.2% are physically inactive.
The article starts by stating that Americans are living longer, with fewer deaths from heart disease and cancer but suffer more from chronic illness. Both of these are due to medical advances. “The bottom line: Americans ‘are living longer, sicker,’ says Reed Tuckson of United Health Foundation.”
The healthiest state for the last six years, Vermont and for the bottom six, you can pretty much draw a circle around the south east. The rating is based on 24 measures of health including: tobacco and alcohol abuse, exercise (I wonder if they include golf…), infectious disease, crime rates, public health funding access to immunizations, premature birth rates and cancer and heart disease rates.
So, the moral I get out of this story: I can stop riding, play more golf and live longer, but with chronic illness. No thanks.