With the fitness culture growing in the United Stated these last few decades, it is hard to ignore the importance of exercise and daily activity. But just how important is it for someone to stay active? According to the Ford Exercise Testing Project, or FIT Project, better cardio health can help prevent early death up to 50 percent when compared to those with poor cardio health.
Health & Fitness
One of the largest of its kind to focus on cardiorespiratory fitness, this study analyzed medical data for 58, 818 patients. It is important to note that these particular patients were referred to doctors for treadmill stress tests, meaning there was already concern about their health. The study did exclude those with a history of coronary artery disease and heart failure. The tests were conducted between 1991 and 2009, in which the researchers focused on how the heart transfers blood and how the body uses oxygen when the patient walks faster and at steeper inclines.
The researchers also had to incorporate the risk factors for cardiovascular disease when analyzing the data. These risk factors are: age, gender, cholesterol, race, blood pressure, smoking and diabetes. The patients were then divided into three groups: low, moderate and high-risk patients. What they found is that those with better cardiorespiratory performance had a 50 percent lower mortality rate. And though the deaths could be resulted from other causes, many of them can be linked to heart attacks and other cardiac issues, said Steven Keteyian, Henry Ford researcher and study co-author.
Does this mean we all need personal trainers and gym memberships? Not exactly. The more exercise you can fit into your schedule, the better. But just 30 minutes of exercise, four times a week can significantly impact your heart health for the better.
For many, exercise can present a daunting, overwhelming experience. According to the American Heart Association, adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity a day. Here are some helpful tips on how to incorporate activity in your schedule:
- Stretch: When done properly, stretching increases flexibility and helps your body relax.
- Move during commercials: It is okay to want to relax after a long and stressful day. But try to move as much as you can during commercial breaks! Walk in place or use an exercise mat to do simple, full body exercises.
- Put on music: Dancing to music you love is a great way to keep moving while also putting you in a better mood!
- Household Chores: Activities such as cleaning the house or mowing the lawn can actually cause you to break a sweat. For those who hate focusing on exercise, this is a great way to feel the health benefits while doing everyday chores.