Poor physical fitness nearly harmful as smoking for heart health

When it comes to wellness and longevity, what might be the best method of achievement?

A nearly 50 year study in Sweden asserts that physical wellness and breath capacity are key variables for cardiovascular wellness. Basically, when compared to hypertension, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and smoking, poor physical fitness was noted nearly harmful as smoking for heart health.

What are some of the factors that help determine the length of your life? Is it diet? Is it physical activity? Is it obesity? Is it smoking? Is it genetic predispositions? Study shows poor physical fitness is nearly as harmful as smoking as risks for getting a heart attack or stroke. Does aerobic fitness determine an improved life length? I think fitness has to do with weight management AND exercise together.

How many hours do you sit in front of your TV in a week? How long do you sit in front of your Mac or PC each day? How far do you walk (or do any aerobic activity) per week? When it comes to heart health, two factors scored high as risks – smoking and aerobic exercise. This 45 year longitudinal study seems to assert that poor aerobic physical fitness is nearly as harmful as smoking, at least, in Sweden. Is it applicable elsewhere?

Swedish researchers followed up on nearly 700 Swedish men for 45 years (1967 to 2012_ years to find risk factors for heart attacks and death. This is one of many longitudinal studies that Sweden generates. The reports showed fairly obvious and startling results. Smokers, men with high cholesterol levels or hypertension ran a higher risk of a premature death. Low levels of aerobic capacity – or poor physical fitness actually represented a higher death risk than high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Only smoking was found to be a higher risk factor than poor (aerobic) physical fitness. Is it time to consider walking more than watching TV or staring at the monitor?

A longitudinal study is an observational research method in which data is gathered for the same subjects repeatedly over a period of years, decades, and longer. Compared to short studies, longitudinal studies show responses over time, sometimes lifespan.

This study, by a team from Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. A representative sample of 792 men were followed for 45 years. All subjects were 50 year old men when they were selected in 1963. The study and research aimed to investigate the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and mortality. The remaining participants would be in their 90’s. The study inluded men born in 1913, 1923, 1933, 1943, 1953 and 1963.

In 1967, the group’s members all completed an exercise test. 656 of the subject group carried out a maximum exercise test where they were required to push themselves to the limit (the others were exempt due to health concerns that might have made the exertion dangerous). Oxygen uptake was measured using with consistent instrumentation that measure respiration and gas metabolism during exercise. Subjects were monitored every 10 years. Data on smoking habits, leisure time physical activity, mental stress and previous diseases, including hypertension and diabetes, as well as on pharmacological treatments were collected by questionnaires.

Smoking was the most likely lifestyle factor to kill a person early, but low aerobic capacity as measured by peak oxygen uptake (better known as VO2 Max) was linked to higher mortality than the other cardiovascular factors assessed. The men with the lowest VO2 Max (maximal oxygen uptake) had a 42 percent higher risk of dying of premature death than the men who were the fittest, and about 21 percent higher risk than men with average aerobic capacity.

Of course, previous mortality rates conducted by the American Heart Association indicate that high LDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and hypertension have been evident in patients with cardiovascular incidents. LDL Cholesterol and (in less than 2% of population) Homocysteine may contribute to to artery blockages. Left unchecked, these have been observable causes of strokes and heart attacks.

The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). Thirty minutes a day, five times a week may help minimize the risk of a heart attack, a leading killer.

Of course you join a gym and use treadmills, joggers, stair-masters, or join a spinning class to boost your aerobic fitness. It’ll help meet those recommended lifestyle guidelines. Considering most people’s busy lives, is it really possible?

Cardiovascular health is likely more associated with exercise constancy. Taking routine time each day or two for 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity. It has to be integrated and mindful in your lifestyle as a routine, not as an option. Cardiovascular exercises help increase breath volume capacity, movement of body fluids, and use of calories.Sound difficult?

Try walking! Make time to walk to work, walk to meetings, walk around your neighborhood or walk when shopping. Walking briskly, even moderately may help boost aerobic fitness and improve your cardiovascular integrity. The AHA cites a recent study that indicates, “walking briskly can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running.” Many studies suggest that walking improves cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, vascular stiffness and inflammation, and mental stress.

Just 30 minutes walking every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. Even if you don’t smoke, don’t have high levels of cholesterol, and don’t have hypertension, the benefits of walking are prime at thwarting many health risks.

While the Swedish study examined men, primarily because 45 years ago, more men had cardiovascular incidents than women. Studies indicate that women doing aerobic activities reduce risk of coronary issues in the future.

The exciting data from Sweden’s longitudinal study and those of USA cross-sectional studies clearly match. All infer that the causality of cardiovascular and respiratory health and heart wellness are associated with marked levels of activity.

Aerobically poor physical fitness is near the top of the list of variables that increase risks of cardiovascular episodes, sometimes even if there are no indexes of other cardiovascular risks.

While following a healthy diet is important, a motivated routing of aerobic exercise seems to offer assurances that you will have a higher quality and longer cardiovascular life if you try to walk moderately brisk 30 minutes per day. The Swedish know it. USA medical specialists know it. So should you.

Ancient Asian practices addressed poor physical fitness with breathing as an important facet. Persia, India, and China all focused how breathing bears influence. Chinese medicine believed that poor physical fitness required Qi Gong, to achieve balance and strength. The Swedish results demonstrate the significance these ancient practices had at insuring cardiovascular health over time.

Understanding cardiovascular health means opting for lifestyle choices, with no interruptions. And no smoking.

While cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and diet may be causes of havoc within arteries leading to the heart, brain, and some other areas, the Swedish study prioritizes how crucial breathing is to upgrade your status toward cardiovascular health.

Of course, there are those that may have chronic asthma or COPD and other respiratory conditions that wouldn’t have qualified for the respiratory segment of the Swedish study. They are likely to be already treated by another specialist.

For most, however, in this cardiac risk study, healthy breathing was an important variable in assessing longevity of cardiovascular wellness.

As part of normal daily activities, if you find you lose your breath on short walks or climbing a few stairs, it may be an indicator of cardiovascular disease, even if your cholesterol and other blood indicators are within the normal range. The importance of respiration integrity with stress is a good marker for potential cardiovascular risks. This stress-test is usually given by a cardiologist exploring possible symptoms. If you don’t smoke but experience breathing problems, consider adding a cardiologist on your To-Do list.

It is also suggested if you feel changes in the way you breathe, seek medical attention as there are many serious respiratory illnesses that may occur during your aging process. Unawareness or ignoring symptoms contribute to degrees of poor physical fitness.

Overall, if you have any of the indicators that may contribute to cardiovascular events that could lead to heart attacks or strokes, be wary of them. Find out more from a medical specialist or alternative cardiologist and what you can do about them. You would be surprised that physical fitness and weight management are two common approaches to help alleviate ongoing cardiovascular diseases. The Swedish study may be valid. Poor physical fitness is, as the Swedish study asserts, is almost as bad as smoking as a lifestyle that might contribute to heart diseases.

Sweden is very serious about fitness, exercise, and diet. This could be a confounding variable in the overall results and report. Nonetheless, world organizations support physical fitness and diet responsibilities as keys for life extension. Breathe well and move.

Cardiovascular illnesses may be genetic but, in general, they may arise by lifestyle choices and poverty. While this study demonstrates the significance of physical fitness to suppress some symptoms of this silent killer, routine blood tests covering lipids are very important. Ask your physician to give you a copy of the blood test results so you can track them. You may never know whether you are a candidate or not. Becoming fit doesn’t guarantee happily ever afters. Fitness may just help sweeten and lengthen your odds of living well, as part of an integrated approach. Isn’t that what you want? What’s stopping you?

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