Exercise reduces your risk of dying for 50% – Discovery

Cape Town is the most fit city according to Discovery, and people also drive better.

For training levels, Johannesburg was in second place and Pretoria came third in the Road Road to Healther South Africa of Discovery Vitality, which was released in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Reduction of medical expenses

Research has shown that training a few hours per week can reduce the risk of mortality by up to 50% for one reason or another, according to the head of Vitality Wellness, Dr. ir. Craig Nossel.

"We see [from our data] that for someone who practices four or five times a week, the [health] the costs decrease considerably and the risk of dying falls significantly. Letting people move is an essential part that we have to prescribe, "he said.

The report is based on data from more than half a million South Africans in the six metropolises that are part of the Discovery Vitality program. This is a scheme for members, which encourages them to practice, eat healthier and drive more carefully through a points and reward system.

Although the report did not provide possible reasons why Capetonians exercised more than people in Bloemfontein, who came in last place, Nossel suggested that the higher concentration of gyms and the promotion of bicycle use and walking through the city might explain the difference.

Men also proved to be up to 35% more active than women.

Dangerous actions on the road

Some obstacles for women may be lack of time with regard to family responsibilities and problems with self-image when exercising in crowded areas, said fitness guru Letshego Zulu, who lost her husband Gugu Zulu when climbing Kilimanjaro.

Family exercise

Via the Vitality app, drivers were also tracked down for dangerous actions along the way.

The best drivers lived in Cape Town, followed by Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein with the worst driving performance in Durban.

According to Professor Sebastian van As of the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, "almost 90% of the accidents are caused by poor driving – easy".

Stimulating physical activity

Nossel has announced that everyone in South Africa can participate in the Vitality Active Rewards program for the next 10 weeks, which was previously limited to those covered by the Discovery Health Medical Scheme, and earns points and wins prizes for becoming fit and carefully to drive.

However, people need a smartphone because the program works via a mobile phone application. Rewards and prizes range from cheap coffee and grocery vouchers to an iPhone.

Nossel said the government and other organizations should invest in similar technology and reward-based programs to encourage all of South Africa, which has one of the highest obesity rates on the continent, to live healthier lives. He praised the government's efforts to reduce sugar consumption through the introduction of the health promotion tax or sugar tax, but said that more could be done to stimulate physical activity.

"It's easy to be lazy and it's hard to be active … so we have to give people as many opportunities to practice as possible," he said.

Zulu said that one of the most important interventions is to inform the public about the impact exercise has on health.

"Lack of physical activity is one of the main causes of non-communicable diseases [like diabetes, cancer and hypertension]. And the trick is; we have to move. "- Health-e News.

Image credit: iStock

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