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‘Huff and puff’ your way to a longer life, researchers say


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Exercises that make you “huff and puff” – including running, cycling and swimming – provide a level of cardiorespiratory fitness that can lead to a longer, healthier life, Australian researchers claim.

The researchers reviewed 199 unique cohort studies involving 20.9 million observations of adult participants. They found that for every 1 metabolic equivalent increase in cardiorespiratory fitness – the amount of energy used when sitting quietly – the participants reduced their risk of early death by 11%-17%. More specifically, for every 1-MET increase in cardiorespiratory fitness, the risk of heart disease decreased 18%.

The researchers recommend that anyone who’s beginning to exercise aim for 150 minutes of brisk walking a week and then increase the activity as the body adjusts to the fitness plan.

“The message is quite simple: If you do a lot of ‘huff and puff’ exercise, then your risk of dying early or developing diseases in the future is reduced,” said senior study author Grant Tomkinson. “If you avoid exercise, your health may suffer.”

The study was published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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