A study reveals how much exercise you should do to live longer

Many factors come into play when it comes to living a long and healthy life without diseases. Some of them cannot be changed, like genetics and the sex we are born with. However, many other habits, such as diet, exerciseStress reduction, not smoking, and sleeping properly can be modified.

According to the available literature and research conducted so far, doing physical activity appears to be one of the most relevant factors for increasing longevity. For this reason, a large part of the scientific studies that are published today try to answer this question. How much exercise should you do to have a long and healthy life?,

However, a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, which is currently being peer-reviewed, has found that although exercise is important for living a longer life, following other healthy lifestyle habits is also important. could have even greater impact.

Longevity: Exercise in itself may not be a factor

Anna Kankanpää, a project researcher at the Gerontological Research Center of the Faculty of Sports and Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä and lead author of the study, decided to study the relationship between physical exercise done in leisure time and the risk of death. The reason? Difference in viewpoint.

The authors point out that previous research shows an association between exercise and a lower risk of all-cause mortality and heart disease. However, some work (such as this study published in December 2021) suggests that Exercise does not reduce mortality from all causes and the incidence of heart disease in older adults or people with chronic conditions.

Jyväskylä scientists say this may suggest that there are other underlying factors, besides exercise alone, that influence the length of a person’s life. For their study, the team of Finnish researchers used data from more than 11,000 sets of adult twins from the Finnish Twin Cohort.

The amount of physical activity of study participants was assessed using questionnaires conducted in 1975, 1981 and 1990. The participants were classified into four groups: sedentary, moderately active, active and very active. And the mortality rates of the participants were followed till 2020, which is a period of 45 years.

At the end of the study, Kankanpaa and his team found that more than a third, nearly 40%, of the participants in the sedentary group had died at the mortality rate in 2020, the highest percentage of the four groups. The number of participants in active groups was between 15% and 23% lower risk of mortality For all reasons compared to the sedentary group.

“I was not surprised (by these results) because many observational studies consistently indicate this association,” says Kankanpaa. But a question remained: How do other lifestyle factors affect mortality risk?

Physical exercise is highly recommended at any age, even in the elderly.
Physical exercise is highly recommended at any age, even in the elderly.The Reason

The researchers also took into account other conditions, such as body mass index (BMI), health status, alcohol consumption and smoking. When these factors were applied, the mortality rate of study participants The sedentary group fell by a maximum of 7%, That is, even if they did not exercise, if they followed healthy lifestyle habits, their risk was significantly reduced.

how much exercise should one do

The scientists also found that participants in the sedentary and highly active groups experienced accelerated biological aging compared to the moderately active and active groups. Therefore, researchers believe that the beneficial association of long-term exercise with a reduced risk of death was largely due to Not only for exercise, but also for other factors Allied Health.

Rather than regular physical activity being a cause of reduced risk of mortality, it may be an indicator of an overall healthy lifestyle, which helps prolong life Of one person. Asked about the next steps for this research, Kankanpaa says, “It would be interesting to study whether the same happens with mortality from specific causes, such as mortality from cardiovascular diseases.” “Furthermore, I would like to investigate the reasons behind Accelerated biological aging observed in highly active participants,

After reviewing this study, Dr. David Cutler, a board-certified family physician at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, explained mnt The conclusion of this study is that the health benefits of being physically active may reflect overall healthy behavior, and not that exercise is the cause of lower mortality.

“(This) is consistent with my own observation that although many people exercise for health benefits, they exercise too often They hope it will counter unhealthy behaviorsWhich is not the case,” Dr. Cutler explained. “This notion of ‘compensatory trust’ was supported by the study’s findings.”

Exercising after a day of excess does not reverse them

“For example, there are people who believe that if you exercise you will eliminate the adverse effects of tobacco. And, in fact, studies have shown that if factors such as obesity and smoking are eliminated Mortality rates improved in the sedentary group.” Dr. Cutler also said it is important to remember that performing Healthy physical activity does not compensate for an unhealthy dietIgnoring alcohol and drug use or other harmful activities such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes.

He added, “Regular exercise may enhance those benefits, but it will not offset the harmful effects of ignoring these proven beneficial measures.” In summary, this study clearly shows that being able Getting some exercise reduces mortality Than just being sedentary and that some exercise is better than no exercise at all.

However, Cutler says studies have shown that the benefits of exercise are similar. For example, “Studies done on how many steps people take per day have shown that the benefits diminish after a certain amount of walking (about 7,000 or 8,000 steps per day). So walking 20,000 steps per day That doesn’t mean you’re better off if you walk 7,000 steps,” he explains.

So that Very high levels of exercise may not be necessary The message should be to achieve health benefits,” he points out, although the study has limitations. For example, this research was conducted in a very established population in Finland, which is not necessarily the same as residents in Spain or the US. .

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