Staying Active Can Prolong Life and Prevent Premature Death
Exercise can lessen the risk of premature death. Adults who obtain two to four times the weekly recommendation for moderate or vigorous physical activity have a much lower risk of dying, according to a study that involved over 100,000 people over thirty years.
Individuals who engaged in 2 to 4 times the recommended weekly amount of moderate physical activity saw a reduction of between 26 and 31%, while those who engaged in 2 to 4 times the recommended weekly amount of vigorous physical activity saw a reduction of between 21 and 23%.
150 to 300 Minutes a Week
Maintaining a regular exercise regimen is well known to be connected with a lower risk of death from causes other than old age, as well as from cardiovascular disease. Individuals should engage in moderate physical activity for a minimum of 150 to 300 minutes per week, intense physical activity for 75 to 150 minutes per week, or a combination of the two, according to the 2018 physical activity guideline.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise per week, or a combination of the two. It is unknown if partaking in higher levels of protracted, vigorous, or moderate-intensity physical activity delivers any additional advantages or is harmful to cardiovascular health. Physical activity has a huge potential impact on health; yet, it is uncertain whether this participation gives any additional benefits.
Prioritizing Physical Activity
The goal of this study was to look at the relationship between long-term physical activity in middle and late life and mortality using several self-reported physical activity metrics collected over several decades.
Health Professionals Study and Nurses’ Health Study evaluated more than 100,000 people’s medical records and death data. Both investigations involved just healthcare workers. 63% of the assessed data was from women, and 96% was white. They averaged 26 kg/m2 and were 66 years old over 30 years.
Both studies requested participants to self-report their physical activity level every two years. The surveys included questions regarding medical histories, family, physician-diagnosed ailments, health information, and personal behaviors like alcohol and cigarette usage, as well as exercise frequency.
The exercise data was weekly time spent on various physical activities throughout the previous year.
Calisthenics, weightlifting, low-intensity exercise, and walking are examples of moderate-intensity exercises. Strenuous activities included bicycling, swimming, running, jogging, and other forms of aerobic activity.
Drastically Reduced Rate of Dying
According to the study’s findings, people who engaged in moderate or vigorous physical activity at a level twice the current recommended had the lowest chance of dying over a long period. The study also discovered that people who met the guidelines for vigorous physical activity had a 31% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, a 15% lower risk of death from non-cardiovascular illness, and a 19% lower risk of death from all causes overall.
- People who met the standards for moderate physical activity had a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease ranging from 22 to 25%, a lower risk of death from non-cardiovascular disease ranging from 19 to 20%, and overall lower risk of death from all causes ranging from 20 to 21%.
- People who engaged in 2 to 4 times the recommended amount of long-term vigorous physical activity per week (150 to 300 minutes per week) had a 27 to 33% lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality and a 19% lower risk of non-cardiovascular disease mortality, for an overall 21 to 23% lower risk of all-cause mortality.
- People who did 2 to 4 times more moderate physical activity than the recommended amount of 300 to 600 minutes per week had a 28 to 38% lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality and a 25-27% lower risk of non-cardiovascular disease mortality, for an overall 26 to 31% lower risk of all-cause mortality.
Previous studies have discovered evidence that long-term, high-intensity endurance activity, such as long-distance bike races, triathlons, and marathons, may raise the risk of adverse cardiovascular events. Premature death, atrial fibrillation, coronary artery calcification, and myocardial fibrosis are examples of these events. Long-distance bicycle races, triathlons, and marathons are examples of long-term, high-intensity endurance exercises.
Long-term, high-intensity weekly physical activity of 300 minutes or moderate-intensity weekly physical activity of 600 minutes at levels more than four times the recommended minimum per week resulted in no incremental reduction in mortality risk.
The study’s findings, as interpreted by the researchers, give knowledge that can help people make informed decisions about the optimum amount of physical exercise, as well as the total number of minutes spent engaged in such activity, to care for their overall health throughout their lifetimes. The findings lend support to the currently suggested levels of physical activity, implying that persons seeking the greatest health benefits should engage in moderate to intense physical exercise at medium to high activity levels or a combination of the two.
Individuals who engage in less than 75 minutes of weekly vigorous activity or less than 150 minutes of weekly moderate activity may have a greater long-term reduction in mortality risk if they engage in 75 to 150 minutes of weekly vigorous exercise, 150 to 300 minutes of weekly moderate exercise, or an equivalent combination of the two. The researchers made this observation.