Could a high level of ex­er­cise be the key to suc­cess­ful age­ing?

Suc­cess­ful age­ing was de­fined as the ab­sence of de­pres­sive symp­toms, dis­abil­ity, cog­ni­tive im­pair­ment, re­s­pi­ra­tory symp­toms and sys­temic con­di­tions, for ex­am­ple can­cer, coro­nary artery disease.

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Wellness -

NEW RE­SEARCH has found that ex­er­cis­ing above the rec­om­mended guide­lines as we age could re­duce the risk of de­vel­op­ing a range of chronic dis­eases and help pro­mote suc­cess­ful age­ing. Con­ducted by re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Syd­ney, the team in­ter­viewed more than 1,584 Aus­tralian adults aged 50 and over and fol­lowed them over a 10-year pe­riod to in­ves­ti­gate the re­la­tion­ship be­tween phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and suc­cess­ful age­ing.

Par­tic­i­pants were asked about their lev­els of mod­er­ate or vig­or­ous ac­tiv­ity and walk­ing ex­er­cise, which were then used to de­ter­mine par­tic­i­pants’ Meta­bolic Equiv­a­lent of Task (MET) over one week. MET mea­sures an in­di­vid­ual’s en­ergy ex­pen­di­ture, with one MET de­fined as the en­ergy it takes to sit qui­etly. Mod­er­ate-in­ten­sity ac­tiv­i­ties burn around 3 to 6 METs, and vig­or­ous-in­ten­sity ac­tiv­i­ties burn more than 6 METs.

Suc­cess­ful age­ing was de­fined as the ab­sence of de­pres­sive symp­toms, dis­abil­ity, cog­ni­tive im­pair­ment, re­s­pi­ra­tory symp­toms and sys­temic con­di­tions, for ex­am­ple can­cer, coro­nary artery disease. The team found that 249 (15.7 per cent) of the par­tic­i­pants aged suc­cess­fully 10 years later.

In ad­di­tion, the re­sults also showed that older adults who en­gaged in the high­est lev­els of to­tal phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, more than 5000 MET min­utes each week, were twice as likely to avoid chronic dis­eases such as stroke, heart disease, angina, can­cer and di­a­betes, and more likely to age suc­cess­fully 10 years later, com­pared to those who en­gaged in the the low­est level of to­tal phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, less than 1000?MET min­utes per week.

Cur­rently, the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion rec­om­mends at least 600 MET min­utes of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity each week, which is equiv­a­lent to 150 min­utes of brisk walk­ing or 75 min­utes of run­ning. “With age­ing de­mo­graph­ics in most coun­tries, a ma­jor chal­lenge is how to in­crease the qual­ity and years of healthy life,” said the study’s lead re­searcher As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Bamini Gopinath. “Our find­ings sug­gest that phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity lev­els need to be sev­eral times higher than what the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion cur­rently rec­om­mends to sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the risk of chronic disease.”

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