A moderate Increase in Fitness Level can Decrease a Man’s Risk of Dying by between 50 and 70 percent
According to a study conducted by the Exercise Testing and Research Lab at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, and published in the journal Circulation, even a moderate increase in fitness level can decrease a man’s risk of dying by between 50 and 70 percent.
“It is important to emphasize that it takes relatively only a small change in your physical activity – like brisk walking – to attain the associated health benefits,” said researcher Peter Kokkinos. “Certainly, one does not need to be a marathon runner. This is the message that we need to convey to the public.”
Researchers studied more than 15.000 U.S. males that were all service veterans. The men were given standardized treadmill tests, in which they were encouraged to walk until they were tired. Then they were monitored for an average of 7.5 years each.
The men were classified as “low fit,” “moderately fit,” “highly fit” or “very highly fit,” depending on how well they performed during their treadmill test. Compared with men in the “low fit” category, men in the “highly fit” category had a 50 percent lower risk of death during the study period, while men in the “very highly fit” category had a 70 percent lower risk of death.
Now here is some meaningful information and a reason you may want to get your fitness level up a notch or two.
During the study period, 44 percent of the “low fit” men died, compared with 30 percent of the “moderately fit” men, and only 15 percent of the “highly fit” and an amazing 8 percent of those classified as “very highly fit.”
According to Kokkinos, moving from “low fit” to “highly fit” would not be hard to achieve.
“All you need is between two and three hours of brisk walking a week. You can spread that out between four and six days a week,” he said.
Achieving “very highly fit” would take only 30 minutes of brisk walking, five or six days a week, for several months.
The study is one of the largest to date that shows a link between exercise and longer life, and while it tested males only, we suspect that women would show similar results if measured in % of increase in lifespan.
Bottom line is, as we have mentioned several times, add some moderate form of cardiovascular exercise as a bare minimum and shoot for 20-30minutes, 3 times per week or more.
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