Tag Archives: cardio-respiratory fitness

A Simple Treatment for Common Health Problems

A Quick Look at Preventive Medicine

Dr. Mike Evans studied the different ways of preventing illness to find which ones have the most impact on health.  He summarizes his findings in a visual lecture he calls “23 and a Half Hours”. In a nutshell, this is what he discovered.

There are a lot of things you could do to impact your health positively. To name a few:

  1. Get regular health check-ups
  2. Add more fibre to your diet
  3. Develop healthy relationships
  4. Maintain your optimal weight
  5. Reduce or totally eliminate smoking and drinking (alcohol)
  6. Eat more fruits and vegetables

All of these would positively impact your health significantly. There are countless more things you can do to improve your health. But of all the things you can do to prevent illness, one thing stands out that would have a dramatic influence on your health. When this treatment is added to the mix, your health can improve many fold.

Before revealing what this treatment is, consider first the benefits this treatment has in relation to some of the most common health concerns.

For Knee Arthritis, one hour treatment 3 times a week reduces pain and disability by 47%.

For Dementia and Alzheimer’s progression of the disease is reduced by 50%.

For Diabetes, people who are high risk candidates for the disease can reduce progression by 55%.

For Post-Menopausal Hip Fractures, post menopausal women who get 4 hours a week of the treatment reduced the risk of hip fractures by 41%.

For Anxiety, can be reduced by 40%.

For Depression, with a low 30% was relieved, with increased doses relief was further increased to 47%.

It is the most common treatment for fatigue, reduces the risk of death in middle age and improves the over-all quality of life.  Okay, have you guessed what it is by now?

The Best Place to Start

It turns out that exercise, mostly walking, can provide all these benefits. We are talking about 30 minutes of aerobic physical activity like walking daily can give you all the above benefits. You can even break this down to 3 ten minute sessions and you will still reap the benefits.

Steven Blair a professor at the Arnold School of Public health determined that, among the top risk factors including obesity, smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol or diabetes, poor cardio-respiratory fitness (CRF) is the strongest predictor of death. Low CRF paired with any one (or more) of these factors significantly increase the risk of death. Even with all the other factors, when a person improves his cardio-respiratory fitness, he can significantly reduce the risk of death.

This is not to say that this is the only thing a person must do to improve his health. Exercise (walking) is the best place to start, and paired with any other preventive treatments, it can make significant improvements to your health. The study shows that there is a big improvement in health when someone goes from doing nothing to doing something. Making small changes in lifestyle like walking the dog regularly or taking the stairs instead of using elevators can have a very positive impact.

Dr. Evan’s Challenge

Dr. Evans asks a simple question, can you limit your sitting and sleeping to just 3 and a half Hours a day? Because if you can it can make a world of difference. Watch the video lecture below.


23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?