it's no secret... a lot of people don't exercise as much or as often as they should, but... should inactivity actually be considered a disease?
experts say... to your body, it's essentially the same.
the good news? it is a disease you can cure.
NBC's Devin Scillian reports:
it's a simple fact... our bodies were made to move.
and when ours don't... our body assumes something is wrong.
Dr. Susan Joy, Cleveland Clinic sports health: "being inactive is really a disease state. so, if you're not moving your body at all, you're not getting any physical activity, you are in, essentially, a state of decline."
but you don't have to run marathons to reap the rewards.
a new study by the "national institutes of health" suggests even low levels of physical activity can add years to your life.
researchers found people who got the recommended amount of exercise lived nearly 3 and a half years longer.
but even people who got only half that amount added nearly two years to their lives.
Dr. Susan Joy, Cleveland Clinic sports health: "you get a more substantial gain taking the sedentary people to low levels of activity than the moderately fit to more fit."
so how much is enough?
it's recommended everyone age 18 to 64 get 2 and a half hours of moderate exercise each week... or one and a half hours of vigorous exercise.
Dr. Susan Joy, Cleveland Clinic sports health: "we all need a little bit of physical activity. if you're not sure what your true exercise needs are for your goals, whether it's for hypertension, cardiac disease, for lowering your cancer risk, for managing your weight, for dealing with stress, that's worth talking to your doctor about because sometimes one type of exercise might help you get closer along to your goals than another."
experts say in this case *something* really is better than nothing.
one study actually found that regular brisk walking reduced your risk for a heart attack by the same amount as jogging.