Intense exercise linked to longer lifespan
New research suggests vigorous exercise may help people live longer.
A study from Australian researchers analyzed data from more than 200,000 adults over age 45 who were followed more than six years. Regardless of body weight or chronic disease status, mortality rates for participants who exercised intensely were lower than those who moderately exercised.
“The study reinforces a basic minimum for attaining some form of cardio protective effect out of exercise,” says Dr. Enrique Saguil, an Advocate Medical Group family medicine physician at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Ill. “For anyone who has tasted vigorous activity for even a minute, there is a grand sense of accomplishment.”
The researchers from James Cook University and the University of Sydney divided participants into groups of people who engaged in moderate activity (leisurely swimming, social tennis, household chores) and those whose activity was vigorous (jogging, aerobics, competitive tennis) up to 30 percent of the time or those who exercised vigorously more than 30 percent of the time.
Participants who vigorously exercised up to 30 percent of the time had a mortality rate that was 9-percent lower than those who moderately exercised, according to the study. Those who exercised vigorously for more than 30 percent of the time reduced risk of dying by 13 percent.
“No question when doing vigorous activity you do something good for your body, the mystery is how to get there and then how to sustain it,” says Dr. Saguil. “Helping patients discover different ways to accomplish short goals gets them to a level of vigorous activity with little injury and high sustainability.”
The World Health Organization currently recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity for adults per week.
“The benefits of vigorous activity applied to men and women of all ages, and were independent of the total amount of time spent being active,” said Klaus Gebel, lead study author from James Cook University’s Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention, in a news release. “The results indicate that whether or not you are obese, and whether or not you have heart disease or diabetes, if you can manage some vigorous activity it could offer significant benefits for longevity.
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