Dr. Scaff’s Fitness Flyer

[This post is derived from the contents of Dr. Scaff’s Fitness Flyer.
The flyer itself is downloadable here as an Adobe Acrobat PDF.]

I. Problems & Solutions Need Action

“The federal government now spends $952 billion a year on Social Security, Medicare and other beneits for the elderly, which come to a record $27,289 per senior citizen, up 25% since 2000. About 35% of the federal budget is now spent on seniors.”
Source: THE WEEK, Feb. 29, 2008

“Increased Fitness Associated with a 50% to 70% Reduction in all Causes of Mortality.”
This was one of the largest studies ever to link exercise capacity to all causes of mortality. Physicians should be motivated to pay as much attention to exercise capacity as they to do major risk factors.
Source: Circulation 2008 and DOI:10.161 Kokkinos et al. “Exercise Capacity in Black and White Men”

An 11-year study of more than 25,000 men and women ages 45 to 79 years of age found that healthy lifestyle behaviors equated to a longer life. By eating lots of fruits and vegetables, exercising, drinking alcohol if desired (but not too much), and not smoking individuals may live an additional 14 years.
Source: PLoS Medicine, Jan. 8, 2008

This is not to imply that other modalities are not appropriate because in specific instances they are needed. It would seem however, that if exercise were only half as good as reported, it would still be better than everything else!

Very simply put, when done properly, there is no other form of treatment, pill, medication or intervention as cost-effective as exercise.

II. Medical Benefits of Exercise
i.e. slow-twitch vs. quick-twitch muscle fibers*

Contrasted with their sedentary counterparts, those who exercise a minimum of 1 hour, 3 times a week (burning 2200-3300 cal.), experience the following diseases/problems less frequently (usually by a magnitude of more than 30%).

  1. Hypertension
  2. ASHD (arteriosclerotic heart disease)
  3. Stroke
  4. MyocardialInfarction (Heart Attack)
  5. Acute Sudden Death (ventricular fibrillation)
  6. Peripherovascular disease
  7. Diabetes (especially Adult Onset Type II)
  8. Esophagitis
  9. Hiatal Hernia
  10. Gastric Ulcer
  11. Appendicitis
  12. Duodenal Ulcer
  13. Diverticulitis
  14. Cholecystitis (Gall Bladder Disease)
  15. Varicose Veins
  16. Hemorrhoids
  17. Osteoporosis
  18. Estrogen Dependant Cancer
  19. -Breast (recurrent breast Cancer 50%)
  20. -Uterine
  21. -Ovarian
  22. Colon Cancer
  23. Prostate Cancer
  24. Premature Labor/Low Birth Weight
  25. Teen Pregnancy
  26. Failure to Complete Education
  27. Substance Abuse
  28. Depression
  29. Alzheimer’s
  30. Cataracts
  31. Migraine Headaches

These are the most common medical, problematic and surgical conditions in the United States today, and regular exercise is the best “medicine/cure!” Clearly, it’s never too late to get started, but as in any other form of medical therapy, the sooner the better!

*There are two types of muscle fibers, slow-twitch and quick-twitch. Quick-twitch muscle fibers help with quick bursts of energy. Slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are for endurance training, i.e. 1 hour running/walking 3 times a week, dramatically reduce the above mentioned problems.
Important: 30 minutes of exercise 6 times a week does not give the same disease fighting benefit as 1 continuous hour, 3 times a week.


If an individual dies prematurely (before age 65), 85% of the time it is due to “lifestyle” related causes consisting of:

  1. Hypertension
  2. Cigarette smoking
  3. Lack of exercise

With the exception of #1, choices #2 and #3 are clearly personal.

Proper endurance exercises modify many other diseases as well. Further, there are no credible reports in the medical literature to support that runners have more low-back pain, cervical discogenic disease, or any form of arthritis as compared to their sedentary counterparts. There are no studies suggesting that running stunts growth or damages epiphiseal plates in children at any age. Running is child’s play! (Running is the strongest natural stimulus of growth hormone there is).

Jack H. Scaff, Jr., M.D., FACSM
President, Hawaii Sports Foundation
Director, Honolulu Marathon Clinic

This fitness brochure was prepared in its entirety by the Hawaii Sports Foundation as a public service. Supported in part by an Educational Grant from Pacific Cardiology,(SM) LLC. Visit www.pacificcardiology.com.

You may make copies of this pamphlet but please give the Hawaii Sports Foundation credit. Rev 4/08

IV. Honolulu Marathon Clinic Welcomes Beginning Runners

The Honolulu Marathon Clinic is all about being healthy and having fun. If you finish a marathon, wonderful. If not, the training is great anyway. The Honolulu Marathon Clinic is one of the most successful running programs in Honolulu … in Hawaii … in the world. Moreover, it’s free!

It is staffed by experienced volunteer runners who started out as beginners (some even smoked!) but graduated as marathoners.

Honolulu Marathon Clinic

  1. Beginners are always treated as new friends.
  2. The 9-month training begins the 2nd Sunday in March at 7:30 a.m. at Kapiolani Park on Paki St., in Honolulu. The clinic meets every Sunday thru December, (except 3-day holidays) rain or shine!
  3. It starts ON TIME (always has, since ’74, and always will)!
  4. Each clinic begins with a short expert talk on some aspect of running, health or the latest research.
  5. Participants then break up into ability groups for a run or walk. Experienced, caring volunteers are with you all the way.

Join us to learn the elements of recreational long-distance running (and getting healthy along the way). Even experienced and world-class runners show up. Like the motto of the San Francisco Dolphin South End Runners, we “start out slow and taper off.”

The Honolulu Marathon Clinic was founded in 1974 by Jack H. Scaff, Jr., a physician who was also the Founder and the 1st President of the Honolulu Marathon Association, Co-founder of the Great Aloha Run, and Race Director of the 1997 H-3 Run.