Thursday, 18 December 2014

"And I would gain 1000 days"

Every now and then we learn that simple thing make a big difference. So it is encouraging to hear of an article in the Journal of the Amercian College of Cardiology with bold yet simple claims.  In a large observational study involving 55,137 adults who were followed up for 15 years, those who ran regularly reduced their risk of cardiovascular deaths by nearly one half (45%), and they had an extra three year life expectancy benefit!
Your body needs you!

What was particularly encouraging was that even fairly modest running patterns conferred significant benefits. Running relatively short distances at a fairly slow pace (6 miles per hour) for as little as 5-10 minutes per day can dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease. The key is for the running to be habitual.

Occasionally I care for  patients with terminal metastatic disease.  When a new drug is offered by the oncologist, which may confer up to three months prolongation of life, for many the opportunity is too great to resist, despite the potential for side effects and failure of efficacy. Modern medicine is tempting and vast sums of money are spent on the 'wonder drug' (three months!!). Yet here is something simple and cheap, that many (ok, not all) can realistically do; just run slowly for 10 minutes most days, and your life expectancy will be prolonged by three years.

For my Christian friends I think there is a similar logic. Maybe just 5-10 minutes spent in quiet, personal friendship with God, in prayer and Bible reading, on a regular basis, would probably dramatically alter the experience of being a Christian. Maybe forget supposedly powerful 'Christian chemotherapy', do the simple things-I'm convinced you won't be disappointed.

I'd like to acknowledge Dr Peter Savill from Medstaed for drawing my attention to the article in the American College of Cardiology  2014;64(5); 472-481, and quoted in The Practitioner December 2014.
Post a Comment

The Long Walk

It's always a bit chancy to give someone a book. A little like recommending a restaurant. Will others like it? Will the service be as go...