Researchers at the University of South Carolina found that men who spent more than 23 hours a week watching TV and sitting in their cars had a 64 percent greater chance of dying from heart attacks than those who sat for fewer than 12 hours a week (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, May 2010).
Many of the men who suffered heart attacks also exercised regularly. Their exercise programs did not protect them from the heart attack-causing effects of sitting in cars or while they watched television. This month, a review of the world's literature shows that exercise may not protect you from the life- shortening effects of prolonged sitting (Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews, July 2010), and many studies show that animals (rats and mice) that do not have exercise wheels in their cages develop insulin resistance, have higher blood fat levels, are fatter, and die earlier than those who have the exercise wheels.
Now we have to explain 1) Why sitting causes premature death and heart attacks• Resting muscles require insulin and respond poorly to insulin in drawing sugar from the bloodstream. • North Americans eat a lot of refined carbohydrates that cause a high rise in blood sugar. • A high rise in blood sugar causes sugar to stick to cell membranes, which kills these cells to cause heart attacks, strokes, premature death and nerve damage.
2) How exercise prevents premature death and heart attacks• Contracting muscles prevent a high rise in blood sugar by pulling sugar from the bloodstream without needing insulin.
3) Why exercise does not protect many people who spend a lot of time sitting in one place• Contracting muscles draw sugar maximally from the bloodstream during exercise and for up to an hour after you finish and tapers until you lose all of its benefit at about 17 hours (Am J Clin Nutr, 2008 July; 88(1): 51-57; Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 1983;245(5):R684-R688; Journal of Applied Physiology, February 2010). • While you sit, your resting muscles do not draw sugar effectively from the bloodstream and 17 hours after you finish exercising, you have lost this benefit of exercise.
4) Why intense exercise is more effective than more casual exercise in• Preventing and treating diabetes (Circulation, July 2008). • Preventing heart attacks in obese people without weight loss (MSSE, Oct, 2006). • Preventing heart attacks than exercising more frequently (MSSE, July, 1997). • Reducing belly fat (MSSE, November 2008) (storing fat in your belly is a sign of inability to respond to insulin). • Preventing premature death (Heart, May 2003). • Preventing metabolic syndrome and heart attacks (Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews, July 2009). • Raising HDL (good) cholesterol (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, March 2009).
Further data to show that intense exercise is superior to casual exercise• The faster aged runners run, the lower their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels (MSSE, October 2008, Arch Int Med, 1999;159(8):882). • High intensity interval training maximally improves every conceivable measure of heart function and heart strength. (Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews, July 2009).
Caution: Intense exercise can cause heart attacks in people who already have blocked arteries.