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Sweat More & Live Longer

Physical Activity Is Death-Defying

Sweat More & Live Longer

By John Salak –

People simply have to come to grips with the idea that a good sweat is a great way to become healthier. In fact, regular cardio-fitness exercises like running, cycling, or swimming can reduce a person’s risk of death from any cause from 11 to 17 percent, according to the University of South Australia.

Sadly, the majority of people in the U.S. and worldwide are not even hitting the minimum recommended standards for physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, notes that just 46.9 percent of U.S. adults 18 and over met the minimum standards for aerobic activity, while just under 25 percent met the combined standard for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.

Ultimately, breaking out in a sweat more often would do everyone a lot of good, according to the Australians. Increased cardiorespiratory fitness not only cuts the risk of death significantly, but it also cuts the risk of heart disease by up to 18 percent.

The university’s team reached its conclusions after reviewing almost 200 unique studies representing more than 20 million observations. The work is reported to be the first effort to collate all the scientific evidence on the prospective link between cardiorespiratory fitness and health outcomes among adults.

Ultimately, the research team identified cardiorespiratory fitness as probably the most important type of fitness for good health.

“Cardiorespiratory fitness or CRF is your ability to perform physical activity for a long period of time like running, cycling, and swimming,” noted the study’s senior author, Professor Grant Tomkinson. “In this study, we found prolonged cardiorespiratory fitness is strongly and consistently associated with all types of premature death and incident disease—spanning heart failure, depression, diabetes, dementia and even cancer.”

The Australians examined evidence linking CRF to numerous health outcomes and found that inactive individuals were more likely to die early or develop chronic conditions like heart disease later in life.

Lead author Dr. Justin Lang added that the study delivers a strong message for public health that cardiorespiratory fitness is an important marker of health status.

“People can make meaningful improvements through additional moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, at least 150 minutes a week. And as they improve their fitness, their risk of death and disease will decline, Lang reported.

The researchers from down under aren’t the only ones tying cardio fitness to longer lifespans.

Skipping an elevator or escalator and opting to climb stairs is also great to add years to a person’s life, according to British researchers.

“If you have the choice of taking the stairs or the lift, go for the stairs as it will help your heart,” stressed study author Dr. Sophie Paddock of the University of East Anglia and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Foundation Trust, Norwich, UK. “Even brief bursts of physical activity have beneficial health impacts, and short bouts of stair climbing should be an achievable target to integrate into daily routines.”

Cardiovascular disease is largely preventable through actions like exercise, the British study noted. Stair climbing in turn is a practical and easily accessible yet overlooked form of physical activity that can help, it added.

Paddock’s team focused strictly on the impact of stair climbing by analyzing nine previous studies involving almost 500,000 participants, whose ages ranged from 35 to 84.

Those willing to tackle stairs regularly saw a 24 percent reduced risk of dying from any cause and a 39 percent lower likelihood of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to non-climbers.  Stair climbing was also linked with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease including heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

“Based on these results, we would encourage people to incorporate stair climbing into their day-to-day lives. Our study suggested that the more stairs climbed, the greater the benefits—but this needs to be confirmed. So, whether at work, home, or elsewhere, take the stairs.” Paddock advised.

The Australian researchers couldn’t agree more. “The message is quite simple: if you do a lot of “huff and puff” exercise, then your risk of dying early or developing diseases in the future is reduced. If you avoid exercise your health may suffer,” Tomkinson added.





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