Cardiorespiratory Fitness a Predictor of Death

November 17, 2010 | by Dr. Jess

In this blog: 1-Research study "Cardiorespiratory Fitness as a Quantitative Predictor of All-Cause Mortality and Cardiovascular Events in Healthy Men and Women A Meta-analysis" 2-2008 Guidelines for Physical Activity The Running Clinic of Toronto often sends us some interesting articles relating to fitness and running. The latest was an article from JAMA 2009 studying the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and mortality and cardiovascular events. As a result of the study, they found an inverse association between cardiorespiratory fitness and mortality and cardiovascular events after a thorough analysis of previous research from 1966 to 2008. In other words, the better your cardiorespiratory fitness, the lower chance of all-cause mortality or cardiovascular events. In this case, all-cause mortality is the total number of deaths in relation to a healthy population. To view the article, click here. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a guideline for 2008 Physical Activity Guidelins. According to the guideline, "medium activity is 150 minutes to 300 (5 hours) minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week (or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity a week). In scientific terms, this range is approximately equivalent to 500 to 1,000 metabolic equivalent (MET) minutes a week." They also state that: "Studies have examined the role of physical activity in many groups—men and women, children, teens, adults, older adults, people with disabilities, and women during pregnancy and the postpartum period. These studies have focused on the role that physical activity plays in many health outcomes, including: • Premature (early) death; • Diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and depression; • Risk factors for disease, such as high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol; •Physical fitness, such as aerobic capacity, and muscle strength and endurance; •Functional capacity (the ability to engage in activities needed for daily living); •Mental health, such as depression and cognitive function; and •Injuries or sudden heart attacks. The Health Benefits of Physical Activity—Major Research Findings •Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many adverse health outcomes. •Some physical activity is better than none. •For most health outcomes, additional benefits occur as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency, and/or longer duration. •Most health benefits occur with at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. Additional benefits occur with more physical activity. •Both aerobic (endurance) and muscle-strengthening (resistance) physical activity are beneficial. •Health benefits occur for children and adolescents, young and middle-aged adults, older adults, and those in every studied racial and ethnic group. •The health benefits of physical activity occur for people with disabilities. •The benefits of physical activity far outweigh the possibility of adverse outcomes. The idea of fitness and activity resulting in a healthier human being is not new. However, each year, we have more and more research giving us quantitative guidelines to follow to give us the best chance of lowering risk of death and increasing quality of life. Due to advances in technology, we may not necessarily need to worry about how long we live, but how we live in our golden years. Our bodies aren't asking for much. 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
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