Two numbers are, to me, particularly emblematic of what science had to tell us about fitness this year.
The first is 42 percent and represents the extent by which people’s risk for premature death rises if they are out of shape, according to a study published in July. That number almost equals the risk of early death associated with heavy smoking.
The second figure is $2,500 and is the amount of money that each of us most likely could save annually on medical costs related to heart disease if we walked for 30 minutes most days, according to a wonderfully pragmatic study released in September.
In other words, exercise science this year taught us that being inactive could potentially cost us years from our lives and many thousands of dollars from our wallets.
There were other lessons in this year’s exercise research, of course. Some of the most compelling involved…
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