‘Huff and puff’ exercises slash risk of early death by 20 percent –

ADELAIDE, Australia — It’s no secret that working out is good for your health, but now a new study shows how it can save your life. Researchers from the University of South Australia have found that cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) can reduce the risk of premature death, chronic disease and complications related to poor health by a staggering 20 percent.

Cardiorespiratory fitness measures how well your heart, lungs, and muscles work together to deliver oxygen to your body during sustained physical activity. It is often measured by VO2 max, the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during intense exercise. The higher your cardiorespiratory fitness level, the more efficiently your body can transport and use oxygen.

Publish their work in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the international research team analyzed data from an impressive 199 studies, including more than 20 million participants. They examined how cardiorespiratory fitness levels predicted future health outcomes.

The results were striking. People with good physical fitness had a 41 to 53 percent reduced risk of premature death from any cause compared to those with poor physical fitness. Each 1 MET incremental increase in fitness (a measure of exercise intensity) was associated with a 7 to 51 percent lower mortality risk, depending on the cause of death. The protective effects were applicable to deaths from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and sudden cardiac events.

“The message is quite simple: if you exercise a lot, your risk of dying prematurely or developing diseases in the future is reduced. If you avoid exercise, your health could suffer,” says Grant Tomkinson, lead author of the study and professor at the University of South Australia, in a press release.

The benefits go far beyond longevity

Good physical fitness was also associated with a 37% to 69% reduction in the risk of developing chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation, dementia and depression. Even among people already diagnosed with heart disease, cancer or other chronic illnesses, those who were in better shape had a significantly lower risk of death.

Although we have long known that being active is good for your health, this study provides a better understanding of the dose-response relationship between fitness and specific outcomes. This suggests that any improvement in fitness – even modest changes – can provide substantial health benefits, particularly for those starting at a low baseline.

It’s important to note that cardiorespiratory fitness doesn’t just depend on how much exercise you can get: it’s influenced by a combination of physical activity, genetics, and other factors like age and condition. health. This means that although some people need to work harder to improve their fitness, almost everyone can improve their cardiorespiratory health through regular aerobic exercise like brisk walking, cycling, swimming or dancing.

People with good physical condition had a 41% to 53% lower risk of premature death from any cause than those with poor physical condition. (© LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS –

“People can make significant improvements with additional moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, at least 150 minutes per week. And as they improve their physical fitness, their risk of death and disease will decrease,” says study lead author Dr. Justin Lang of the Public Health Agency of Canada and assistant professor at the University of South Australia.

The researchers noted some limitations in the current evidence that point to areas of future research. Most studies so far have focused on predominantly male groups, highlighting the need for more data on women’s fitness. There was also a lack of high-quality studies in certain patient populations and research on links between fitness and certain cancers and mental health outcomes beyond depression.

Overall, the breadth and consistency of protective associations across various health outcomes argue convincingly for the importance of cardiorespiratory fitness as a key vital sign. The authors argue that it should be routinely measured in health care settings to help identify people at high risk who might benefit from interventions.

“Through regular assessment, clinicians and exercise professionals could better identify adults at greater risk of premature death and initiate exercise programs aimed at increasing CRF through regular physical activity,” concludes Dr. Lang.

At a population level, the results highlight the critical importance of promoting physical activity and providing infrastructure that supports an active lifestyle. In an age where sedentary behaviors are an integral part of life, making movement a regular part of our days should be a top public health priority.

Matt Higgins of StudyFinds contributed to this report.

News Source :
Gn Health

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