Exercise not only helps you slim down, it also helps you live longer and you don’t have to do activities that you don’t like…
In the largest study to date of cardiorespiratory fitness in healthy people, researchers found that moving more is linked to living longer, regardless of age, sex, and starting fitness level.
If you hate the gym, the good news is that the study found that one doesn’t have to do activities one doesn’t like.
“People think they have to start going to the gym and exercising hard to get fitter, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated. For most people, just being more active in daily life – taking the stairs, exiting the metro a station early, cycling to work – is enough to benefit health since levels are so low to start with. The more you do, the better,” says study author Dr Elin Ekblom-Bak, of the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences in Stockholm.
Over 310 000 people studied
The study included 316 137 adults aged 18-74 years who had their first occupational health screening between 1995 and 2015 in Sweden.
Cardiorespiratory fitness was measured using a submaximal cycle test and expressed as maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) in ml/minute/kg body weight. This is the maximum amount of oxygen the heart and lungs can provide for the muscles during exercise.
You can estimate your VO2 max using either submaximal cycle tests, treadmill tests, or walking tests.
The study found that the risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events fell by 2,8% and 3,2%, respectively, with each millilitre increase in VO2 max.
Benefits of fitness were seen in men and women, in all age groups, and at all fitness levels.
“It is particularly important to note that an increase in fitness was beneficial regardless of the starting point,” says Dr Ekblom-Bak. “This suggests that people with lower levels of cardiorespiratory fitness have the most to gain from boosting their fitness.”
Dr Ekblom-Bak advises, as a rough guide, that for every additional millilitre of VO2 max there will be an average 3% risk reduction of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events.
“This is more motivational than just telling people they need to do better. People in the lower range of VO2 max will reduce their risk even more (nine percent) while those at the upper end of VO2 max will reduce their risk by one percent.”
Source: European Society of Cardiology via www.sciencedaily.com
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