Keeping track of health is particularly hard today especially if you are constantly surrounded by delicious, calorie-rich foods all the time. The Standard American Diet is full of sugar and extreme levels of fat. This is why obesity has become a huge problem.
However, at the same time, awareness regarding exercising and eating healthy is also spreading at a very fast rate. Many people are also making permanent lifestyle changes in order to stay healthy and away from many dangerous health conditions.
This includes most obese and normal-weight people. You may notice that going to the gym has become more popular than ever before. Additionally, the availability of information regarding diet and fitness easily has also helped.
Despite all these measures, the prevalence of some diseases still remains. One good example of such health conditions is of those related to the heart. Previous research on cardiovascular diseases has shown that lack of physical activity may double the risk of developing them.
But it was also seen that many of the ‘fit’ and ‘in shape’ people developed cardiovascular conditions later in life. So, a number of studies supporting a contrary or different view emerged, looking at all the possible factors.
While it is true that a lot of factors may be involved when it comes to the health of the heart, exercise certainly plays a huge role. This fact can be corroborated by new research published in the European Heart Journal. The main focus of this study is on the importance of cardiorespiratory fitness.
How Was the Research Conducted?
To understand the research, it is mandatory to know what cardiorespiratory fitness is. Cardiorespiratory fitness can be defined as the body’s ability to deliver the oxygen it needs on time during any physical activity. Putting it precisely, it is how efficiently the lungs and heart work.
The new research focuses on this very factor to show people with sufficient physical activity and good cardiorespiratory fitness can have their risk of cardiovascular diseases in the future almost reduced to half.
The last and corresponding author of the study is Bjarne Nes, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Cardiac Exercise Research Group. With his team of researchers, he examined the cardiorespiratory fitness of around 4,5000 from the HUNT3 survey.
At the beginning of the study, none of the participants had a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cancer, or any other such health condition.
Around 80 percent of these people had a low risk of having a cardiovascular disease in a period of ten years or so. The researchers measured the maximum oxygen intake to know their fitness levels. According to scientists, this is the most accurate method to measure a person’s fitness.
What Did the Research Find?
At the end of the study period, around 147 of the people involved had Angina Pectoris or heart attacks both of which are caused by narrowed or blocked arteries.
During the observation, the researchers noted that higher fitness levels lead to a decrease in the risk of developing such conditions. Even the smallest improvements in the cardiorespiratory health reduced the likelihood of heart-related complications.
Conclusively, the corresponding and last author, Nes, says that this should encourage people to turn towards increasing their cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity. Prevention is always better than treatment. He further comments:
“Our study shows that poorer fitness is an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease, even among healthy women and men who are relatively fit.”
Hence, keeping a track of your cardiorespiratory fitness is as important as keeping a check on other factors linked to complicated linked with the heart.