Researchers examined health records of 1.17 million 18-year-old men who enlisted for military service between 1968 and 2005. (Swedish law used to require all men to sign up.) The scientists found that guys who scored the highest on a cycling test for cardiovascular fitness were 79 percent less likely to have developed epilepsy—a neurological disorder that causes seizures—during 25 years of follow up.
Cardiovascular fitness when you’re young can impact your future health outlook in a few ways, the researchers say. It can stimulate protective mechanisms that result in a stronger brain, or it could predict physical fitness later in life, which affects disease risk.
More research is needed to find out whether low fitness levels actually affect the onset of adult epilepsy or reflect the presence of early, undetected symptoms. Until then, you heard the Swedes—hit the gym! (Or your basement.)
source: Men’s Health News by Kristen Domonell