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Lift and Walk...Away From An Early Grave

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Posted by Chip


It is common knowledge that good exercise is beneficial, even as we get older.  Several new studies have come out showing how "movement is medicine" for all ages.  Get to the gym to lift and get walking!

Study: Every 1000 Steps Matters (Daily Step Count and All-Cause Mortality: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies by Jayedi et al. (2021))

This is a recent meta-analysis that analyzed all of the prospective studies investigating the relationship between daily step counts and all-cause mortality. Seven studies were included in the meta-analysis, accounting for 28,141 total participants, 175,370 person-years, and 2,310 deaths. 

The researchers found that rates of all-cause mortality were about 12% lower per 1,000 steps per day.  Comparing the lowest step counts to the highest step counts reported in the studies included in this meta-analysis: walking 16,000 steps per day was associated with a 66% reduction in all-cause mortality compared to walking just 2,700 steps per day. Or, in other words, walking 2,700 steps per day was associated with a 3x greater risk of all-cause mortality than walking 16,000 steps per day.

Study: Muscle-Strengthening Activities Were Associated With a 10–20% Lower Risk of All-Cause Mortality, Cardiovascular Disease, Total Cancer, Diabetes and Lung Cancer

In this study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, analysis found that 30 to 60 minutes of muscle strengthening activity every week is linked to a 10% to 20% lower risk of death from all causes, and from heart disease and many types of cancer.   A large risk reduction exercising up to 60 minutes a week for diabetes was also found.

The findings were independent of aerobic exercise. There was no conclusive evidence that more than an hour a week of muscle strengthening reduced the risk any further.

Study: 20 Minutes Of Daily Exercise May Cut Heart Disease Risk In People Over 70

Another recent study, published in the journal Heart, found twenty minutes of daily moderate to vigorous exercise for those over the age of 70 may help ward off heart disease and heart failure later in life, long-term research suggests.

It is well known that physical activity is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a longer life, irrespective of gender and ethnicity. However, there have not been many studies looking exclusively at whether exercise in later life can help stave off heart problems in old age.

This research looked at a study of more than 3,000 Italians aged 65 and above.  Researchers tracked heart disease among the participants over two decades, and also monitored their physical activity levels. Moderate physical activity included walking and fishing, while vigorous physical activity included gym workouts, cycling, dancing and swimming.

Overall, physical activity was associated with lower rates of cardiovascular diseases. Further analysis found that at least 20 minutes of exercise every day among people aged 70-75 seemed to provide the greatest benefits. The benefits were more apparent in people in their early 70s compared with those in their late 70s and beyond.

The sharpest reduction in heart disease and heart failure risk was associated with a period of 20-40 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day. The protective benefit seemed to reduce as people aged, which “suggests greater cardiovascular benefits might be achieved by improving physical activity earlier in late life,” the researchers said.



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