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Aerobic form prevents premature death

Having a good aerobic capacity is essential for runners, which allows us to go stronger and longer during our workouts. But there’s another reason being in aerobic shape is important: it can even lower your risk of death from heart disease, cancer and other illnesses, according to Spanish researchers.

In the study, which was presented at the EuroEcho-Imaging 2018 of the European Society of Cardiology, researchers analyzed 12,615 participants aged 18 to 91 with known or suspected coronary artery disease. Participants underwent a treadmill echocardiography stress test, in which they walked or run until exhaustion.

The results of the stress test were measured in metabolic equivalents (METs) or the energy cost of an activity (one MET is the equivalent of sitting quietly, and six or more METs is the equivalent of doing strenuous activities like exercising. running or cycling).

To perform well on the stress test, participants had to achieve 10 METs – the equivalent of being able to climb three or four flights of stairs quickly without having to stop, or run at 6.5 miles per hour. (a pace just a little slower than a 9:30-mile), according to cardiologist Jesús Peteiro-Vázquez, MD, lead author of the study.

“Four flights of stairs are about 20 meters apart, and the typical incline is 30-35%,” he said. The runner’s world. Therefore, a person able to climb four flights of stairs in, say, 45 to 55 seconds would also be able to reach 10 METs.

The researchers then divided the participants into two groups: those who achieved 10 METs or more were labeled with “good functional ability” and those who failed to achieve 10 METs were labeled with “low functional ability”. .

After following the participants almost five years later, the researchers found that those in the poor fitness group were more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, cancer, or other illnesses. In fact, people in the unhealthy group were three times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease and almost twice as likely to die from cancer in that five-year period as those in the healthy group. physical.

And the fitter the participants were during the test, the more protective the effects seemed: each MET obtained after that score of 10 was associated with a 9%, 9%, and 4% decrease in risk of each type of disease, respectively.

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“Our results add to the common knowledge of the benefits of being in shape,” said Petiero-Vázquez. “Physical activity has a positive effect on blood pressure and lipids, and therefore on the cardiovascular system. It also reduces inflammation.

This is important because inflammation has been implicated as a common factor in the development of certain cancers and heart disease.

So keep recording your miles – long runs, track workouts, or even whatever else you can do on your lunch break – to help lower your risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

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