Dr. Dwyer and his colleagues now produced records for more than 90,000 men and women who had excluded anyone with a known history of heart disease when they were included in the study. They divided them into groups of four, based on the total number of minutes they walked each week, and how moderate the activity was, such as walking, or relatively vigorous, such as walking, verified by their trackers.
Finally, the researchers collected data from hospitals and death records, out of 90,000 volunteers who developed heart disease in the years following their inclusion in the study, and began to cross-diagnose them against their activity habits.
No one was surprised, being active was protective against heart disease. People in the least-active group, who rarely walked or exercised formally, were now more than twice as likely to have heart disease as the most active men and women. Moving from the least active group to not-quite-inactive group reduced the risk of heart disease by nearly 30 percent, even when researchers controlled for body composition, smoking, socioeconomic status, and other factors .
Researchers also found no upper limit for benefits. The men and women who moved the most were walking for 1,100 minutes a week or more than two hours a day (a total that included both their actual exercise and everyday activities like grocery shopping or housework). , While often working out intensely for 50 minutes or more than a week, there is no increased risk for heart problems. Instead, this group enjoyed the greatest risk reduction, showing both men and women of equal benefit.
Dr. Dyer says “the results provide even stronger evidence than before” that “physical activity, including vigorous physical activity, is important to reduce the risk of heart disease.” The benefit was about the “double that found with most self-report studies.”
This study is associative, however, indicating that active people are also healthy-hearted people. It does not prove that walking and other activities directly strengthen people’s hearts, only that the two are connected. Dr. Dwyer also points out that the study had a high number of people who completed a high amount of intense activity, so it is anticipated that prolonged, intense exercise may, at some point, stop being good for the heart. Can. He said that this possibility requires more investigation.
But for most of us, he says, “elevating our exercise” to much higher levels or more vigorous levels.