Thanks to the comments to my previous post by an Anonymous reader, I ended up discovering some interesting facts about "James M. Fixx".
Jim Fixx was a famous author credited with starting America's Fitness revolution. His 1977 bestseller, The Complete Book of Running , still in print, sold over a million copies and helped launch the "running boom" in America. Apparently, when Fixx took up running in the late 1960's he wieghed 220 lbs and by the time he completed his book he had given up smoking and was down to a 159 lbs!
But the sad and rather ironic way in which he died is probably the one that will be remembered the most. Jim died at age 52 while (of all the things) running! His autopsy revealed that one of his arteries was 99% clogged, another 80% obstructed and a third 70% blocked, resulting in a massive heart attack. His legacy still lives on... according to a survey by the USATF in 1984, the year of Fixx's death 170,000 runners finished American marathons, that figure jumped upto 400,000 in 2003.
So what does this mean to all the runners and fitness freaks out there? Does it mean that we are the same (if not better off!) being a regular couch potato? NO... research suggest that the number of people who die from heart attacks while exercising is aprox 1 in 50,000. Physicians admit that although runners are at risk during the hour or so a day that they train, particularly Marathon runners, but the reminder of the days they are at much less risk than the general population and can actually extend and improve their lifestyle. A classic study in harvard concluded that we can extend our lifespan by 2 years even with minimal exercise. Other researchers believe we may actually be able to extend our life 6-9 years through exercise and attention to diet....
Well... I am off to the gym :-) hope this motivates you enough to move your b*** too.. and thanks again to the Anonymous reader (see... thats why my blog's mission statement says "puhhhleeez do post comments"... thats my blog's dal roti ;-) )