Oxford Study Shows Exercise Improves Cardiovascular Health

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For people who have decided to be more fit this year, new research from Oxford University can help in sticking to the resolution. According to the findings of the study, exercise, regardless of the time and intensity, can lead to countless benefits for cardiovascular health.

After an investigation of over ninety thousand participants, the researchers also found that working out decreases the risk of developing heart-related disease, and the people who are the most active have the highest number of positive health outcomes in general.

The leading author of the study, Terry Dwyer, who is also a researcher at the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health explains that the study shows exercise is an integral part of the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

Prior to the study, much of the research present on the subject had relied on questionnaires to calculate the protective impact of working out for heart health.

In the Oxford research, all of the participants were given accelerometers, which are devices that can measure the total amount of physical activity of a person and are usually worn on the wrist.

The activity levels of the participants were recorded on a weekly basis from the year 2013 to 2015. During this time, the accelerometers also recorded the intensity of the workouts the participants choose to do.

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After examining the results, the researchers found that people with the highest levels of physical activity had a forty-eight to fifty-seven percent reduction in the risk of heart disease.

Secondly, people who engaged in moderate to high-intensity exercises had a further reduction of forty-nine to fifty-nine percent. Out of these, those with the most vigorous workout schedules had the highest reduction of fifty-four to sixty-three percent.

In addition to these effects, participants who were more active were also seen to be non-smokers, consume a moderate amount of alcohol, and have a healthy BMI. However, the link between better cardiovascular health and exercise remained after adjusting for these factors too.

The association between improved health and exercise has been known for a long time but these findings now further highlight the importance of physical activity even more.

While the research shows that increased exercise leads to more positive health outcomes, the American Heart Association along with the World Health Organization suggest 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise on a weekly basis.

For those who engage in high-intensity workouts, 75 to 150 minutes of exercise per week is enough.

The benefits of working out have been proven many times but stats from the AHA only one in five adults in the US exercises. This shows that the majority of adults still do not have enough physical activity in their everyday life.

Even though there are recommended guidelines by leading health agencies, the Oxford study shows that exercise is beneficial regardless of time and intensity.

So, even if a person wishing to be more active prefers moderate-intensity workouts, it will still be helpful. Always remember, any type of physical activity is better than having none at all.


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