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Try This –An Everyday Habit That Can Increase Your Lifespan

Today I’m going to share one really powerful everyday habit that will not only boost your VO2 max but also reduce your risk of heart disease and all-cause mortality!

And guess what? This one is for everyone: you, your parents, your grandparents, your kids—even your pets!

You know I’m all about making health super easy and accessible, especially in a world where people can make it feel so complicated. 

I truly believe that great health is achievable for most people, regardless of their age. 

And it’s not always about expensive therapies, training sessions, and eating the perfect meal three times a day. 

Sometimes, it’s about the simple everyday choices we make that get us one step closer to a stronger and healthier body. 

A quick word from today’s sponsor before we jump into the habit!

Today's Sponsor

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Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease by 39 Percent!  

You know how they say if you have the choice between taking the elevator or the steps, you should take the steps? Well, there’s some serious truth to that. 

When it comes to heart-disease prevention, most adults do not meet the minimum requirement of daily activity needed to maintain a strong and healthy heart for life.

And it’s not just intentional aerobic exercise or strength training I’m talking about; it’s the daily movement that we get throughout the day, or NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). NEAT is the amount of energy we burn through unfocused exercise such as walking, cleaning, moving around, or taking the stairs. 

My friend Dr. Casey Means beautifully explains that NEAT is critical for weight management and longevity, but unfortunately, many of us have become too comfortable with very small amounts of movement throughout the day. This lack of movement is contributing to our huge metabolic problem: 94 percent of Americans have at least one marker of metabolic dysfunction. 

Tackling this problem starts with small and meaningful steps—literally! 

Authors of a recent meta-analysis aimed to find out if climbing stairs, an accessible but often avoided activity, could help reduce the risk of things like cardiovascular disease and premature death. 

They used nine studies with over 400,000 individuals, including both healthy participants and those with cardiovascular disease, between the ages of 35 and 84. 

They found that stair climbing was associated with a 39 percent reduced risk of death from heart disease (heart failure, heart attacks, and stroke) and a 24 percent reduced risk of all-cause mortality!

I love this study because sometimes better health can feel like a huge undertaking, but this meta-analysis shows that even the simple everyday choices we make can have a profound influence on our health. 

Here’s another benefit of climbing stairs… 

Boost Your VO2 Max 

If you haven’t heard of VO2 max before, here’s a comprehensive article breaking down its importance. And here’s a quick recap:

VO2 max might be one of the greatest predictors of longevity. It’s the maximum rate at which your body can use the oxygen you breathe in to make energy. The higher your VO2 max, the better your body is at producing energy. People who have a higher VO2 max generally have stronger and healthier mitochondria, which is critical for healthy aging. Regular exercise is a key part of boosting our VO2 max. 

Now, new evidence shows that climbing steps can improve our VO2 max. In a recent study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, researchers aimed to see how “exercise snacks” (small amounts of physical activity you can easily fit into your daily schedule), including climbing stairs, fared in comparison to more moderate-intensity exercise when it came to markers like VO2 max and fat oxidation rate. 

The participants, all of whom were considered inactive adults, were assigned to a control group, an exercise snack group that climbed stairs, or a moderate-intensity training group. Both exercise groups performed their specific exercise three times a week over six weeks. The stairs group’s routine involved walking up six flights of steps in 30 seconds three times with at least an hour break in between.

After the six-week period, the stairs group improved their VO2 max by 7 percent, while the moderate intensity group experienced no significant improvements in their VO2 max. 

Now, walking up six flights of steps in a short period of time is not easy, but it is efficient and accessible to many—even inactive adults. 

This goes to show that improving markers like our VO2 max doesn’t have to be super complicated or take up a ton of time. It can be as simple as climbing steps! 

I sent both of these studies to my parents because I think this is a super-doable way for pretty much anyone at any age to improve their overall health and increase their life span. 

I’ll definitely be taking the stairs more often, too. 

Here’s to climbing, 
Dhru Purohit