We all know that sitting for long periods of time can be extremely harmful to our health, but new research is showing us the extent of damage – and it’s scary!
At the recent European Society of Cardiology (ECS) Congress 2019 researchers presented their scary findings.
The new studies found that those who had led a physically inactive life for at least 20 years had a twofold greater risk of premature death when compared with physically active people.
The researchers looked at how physical activity over 22 years was linked to death in general, and more specifically, death from cardiovascular disease. They found that those in the low activity group were twice as likely to die from all causes and had a nearly threefold greater risk of death due to cardiovascular disease!
Why any movement is good movement
The lead researcher on these findings, Dr Trine Moholdt explains that making even small changes can lead to improved health.
She explains that their data show that even for those who were previously inactive, making changes later in life can have benefits.
Exercise may not only guard against premature death, but it can also help keep the body’s organs and cognitive function in good shape.
“Physical fitness is more important than the amount of exercise. Even smaller amounts of activity will improve fitness — this includes all types of exercise that make you breathe heavily.”
“Physical activity helps us live longer and better lives.”
What exercise should you focus on to help secure your future health?
At Medicine in Motion we say any movement is good movement, but let’s look at the two main types of exercise and their key benefits.
Aerobic exercise aims to improve how the body uses oxygen. Most aerobic exercise takes place at average levels of intensity over longer periods.
An aerobic exercise session usually involves warming up, exercising for at least 20 minutes, and then cooling down. Aerobic exercise mostly uses large muscle groups.
Aerobic exercise provides the following benefits:
- improves muscle strength in the lungs, heart, and whole body
- lowers blood pressure
- improves circulation and blood flow in the muscles
- increases the red blood cell count to enhance oxygen transportation
- reduces the risk of diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD)
- improves life expectancy and symptoms for people with coronary artery diseases
- stimulates bone growth and reduces the risk of osteoporosis when at high intensity
- improves sleep hygiene
- enhances stamina by increasing the body’s ability to store energy molecules, such as fats and carbohydrates, within muscle
Anaerobic exercise does not use oxygen for energy. People use this type of exercise to build power, strength, and muscle mass.
Anaerobic exercises include:
- lifting weights
- intensive and fast skipping with a rope
- interval training
- any rapid burst of intense activity
While all exercise benefits the heart and lungs, anaerobic exercise provides fewer benefits for cardiovascular health than aerobic exercise and uses fewer calories. However, it is more effective than aerobic exercise for building muscle and improving strength.
Increasing muscle mass causes the body to burn more fat, even when resting. Muscle is the most efficient tissue for burning fat in the body.
At Medicine in Motion we love seeing our community improve their health through expertly prescribed exercise, and the research is simple – move more now, to save your life!