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'Huff and Puff' – Australian research emphasises the importance of keeping up the cardio

Australian study emphasises the importance of cardio
Cardiorespiratory can cut levels of premature death and disease by up to 17 per cent
Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of heart disease by 18 per cent
The meta-analysis considered more than 20.9 million observations
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Having good levels of cardiorespiratory fitness cuts disease and premature death by 11 to 17 per cent according to new research from the University of South Australia (UniSA).

As strength training skyrockets in popularity and gym owners respond to customer demand by removing cardio equipment to make more room for weights, this study shows it’s important to keep aerobic exercise in a workout routine.

Senior author, UniSA's Professor Grant Tomkinson, says cardiorespiratory fitness is probably the most important type of fitness for good health, saying: "In this study we found prolonged cardiorespiratory fitness is strongly and consistently associated with all types of premature death and incident disease – spanning heart failure, depression, diabetes, dementia and even cancer.”

For every 1-MET increase in cardiorespiratory fitness – the amount of energy used for quiet sitting – a person can reduce their risk of premature death by 11 to 17 per cent and their risk of heart disease by 18 per cent.

This is the first study to collate all the scientific evidence that looks at the link between cardiorespiratory fitness and health outcomes among adults. Published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, it comprised 26 systematic reviews with meta-analysis representing more than 20.9 million observations from 199 unique cohort studies.

The study showed that those with low levels of cardiorespiratory fitness are far more likely to die early or develop chronic conditions, such as heart disease, later in life.

"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. If you avoid exercise, your health may suffer," says Tomkinson.

"People can make meaningful improvements through additional moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, at least 150 minutes a week. And as they improve their fitness, their risk of premature death and disease will decline.”

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Having good levels of cardiorespiratory fitness cuts disease and premature death by 11 to 17 per cent according to new research from the University of South Australia.
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