But while there is not necessarily an agreement about what exercise-and how much-you should do to maximize your health, there is one thing that is certain.
Jaber goes on to stress the importance, now, for conveying these risks to the general population. Lack of exercise is, as far as this study is concerned, actually worse than being a current smoker.
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As such, being unfit, 'should be treated nearly as a disease that has a prescription, which is called exercise, ' he said. Those with the lowest exercise rate accounted for 12% of the participants.
Other research has found that any amount of regular exercise will help you out in the long run, not just in prolonging your life but improving the quality of those last days. "Everyone should be encouraged to achieve and maintain high fitness levels".
The study showed that the ultra-fit still have lower mortality compared to those who don't exercise at all.
When the subgroups were analyzed by age, the survival benefit of elite versus high performance was most notable in older patients. While there is a slight intimation that females may experience slightly higher benefits, the conclusion is simple: anyone and everyone will benefit from implementing consistent [aerobic] exercise to their lifestyle. "This is not the patients telling us what they do", Jaber said. The test results gave the researchers an objective measure of someone's overall fitness. The risk of dying was twice as much among those who fared poorly on the treadmill compared to those who had kidney failure on dialysis.
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The authors write, "Cardiorespiratory fitness is inversely associated with long-term mortality with no observed upper limit of benefit".
Jaber noted that while the dangers of leading a sedentary lifestyle and being out of shape are well-known, he admitted that he was surprised by the study's findings which indicate that both states 'overwhelm even the risk factors as strong as smoking, diabetes or even end-stage disease'.
Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, who was not involved in the study, said this reinforces what we know. "It's reversible", he explained, adding that doctors are really good at treating patients who have had cardiovascular events but they can be prevented.
It's nearly as if humans were meant to walk and run.
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