Exercise and a specific amount of physical activity have been deemed mandatory for maintaining health. However, most adults do not have the time to fulfill their daily recommended requirements due to busy schedules.
According to research on exercise, it can safeguard an individual from a number of health conditions ranging from multiple types of cancer to heart disease and obesity. Therefore, health professionals stress on doing even the most trivial, low-intensity exercise on a daily basis.
A common question that arises here is that – is it too late to start doing so? Many people tend to add physical activity in their schedules because they often assume that exercise would not benefit them now.
Restrictions on different kinds of exercises are only suggested by doctors only in particular cases. For instance, if a person has surgery, muscle/bone/joint issues, and similar conditions, he/she must prevent any activity that may hinder the process of healing.
Consequently, there is no ‘right age’ to start exercising and its never too late. Recent research also focuses on how physical activity later in life can still be beneficial regardless of a person’ history.
It precisely focuses on how changing levels of exercise affect mortality and the risk of dying from particular conditions such as heart disease.
The leading author of the study is Alexander Mok from the University of Cambridge. The findings of the study can be read in the journal The BMJ.
Read the study here.
How Was the Research Conducted?
Previously, there have been a big number of studies on the different effects of exercise. However, there is no research that highlights how changes in exercise can affect an individual’s general health and life span.
In the new study, the researchers fill in this missing information. This is also why, in accordance with Mok, the team chose to make it a large-scale cohort study which includes over fourteen thousand people.
In order to do so, the researchers derived data mainly from another study known as European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Norfolk.
This particular research, which covers the time period from 1993-1997, included participants between the ages of forty to seventy-nine.
The team examined the data from the starting of this research and went all the way to the follow-up in 2004. Particular factors such as smoking habits, diet, lifestyle, alcohol intake, history of medical conditions, weight, age, and others were also observed.
Another thing that the researchers included was the socio-economic class and the education levels of the participant as it plays a big role as well.
For the physical activity part, questionnaires provided by the team gave all the fundamental information about the exercise levels and lifestyles of people included in the study.
Additionally, the team also went on another twelve and a half years follow up which lasted till the year 2016.
What Was the Conclusion?
In their thirteen years follow up period, the researchers observed that over three thousand deaths had occurred. 1,091 of them were due to developing cancer and the remaining 950 of them because of heart-related conditions.
The researchers looked at the relevant factors in the explanation such as the physical activity of the participants. It was then found that higher levels of exercise were connected to longevity.
Secondly, it was also noticed that people who decided to exercise even after living sedentary lifestyles had health benefits.
Conclusively, an increase in one kilojoule of energy per year led to a twenty-four percent decrease in the chances of premature death.
While the benefits were greater for people who had been active since the beginning of the study, the researchers accentuated how it is never too late to follow them as it too brings significant advantages for the health.