- A balance of moderate-to-vigorous exercise combined with twice-weekly strength training sessions may reduce the risk of many forms of death, according to a new study.
- The study also found that exceeding current physical activity guidelines further significantly reduced the risk of death.
- This study suggests that clinicians should familiarize physically inactive patients with healthy exercise combinations.
When it comes to reducing the risk of all-cause mortality or death from cardiovascular disease and cancer, are some forms of exercise superior to others? Are there specific exercise combinations?
A new study looks at the ideal combination of types of exercise to live longer. Evaluate different combinations of moderate aerobic physical activity (MPA), vigorous aerobic physical activity (VPA), and muscle-strengthening activity (MSA).
The study found that balanced doses of MPA, VPA, and MSA were most closely associated with reduced mortality risk, although the combination of activities varied across mortality types.
Best combination to reduce the risk of:
- All-cause mortality – Mortality was higher with weekly MPA of 0-75 minutes and >150 minutes of VPA plus at least two weekly MSA sessions.
- Mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer was MPA >150–225 min, VPA >0–75 min, and ≥2 MSA sessions.
World Health Organization in 2020 exercise recommendations 150-300 minutes of MPA per week, 75-150 minutes of VPA, or a relatively equivalent combination thereof, plus 2 days of MSA sessions.
The study also found that higher MPA exercise levels than currently recommended may further reduce mortality risk.
With MPA over 300 minutes, VPA over 0-75 minutes, and MSA sessions at least twice a week, researchers observed an approximately 50% reduction in all-cause mortality and cancer mortality. did. CVD mortality is 1-fold lower.
Researchers analyzed data from the US National Health Interview Survey from 1997 to 2018. The study included 500,705 adults with a median follow-up of 10 years (5.6 million person-years). Participants were 18-85 years old, median age 46.4 years, and self-reported exercise.
A seemingly paradoxical finding of this study was that doubling the amount of VPA was associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality, whereas doubling the amount of MPA reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. be.
Professor Emmanuel Stamatakisa professor at the University of Sydney School of Health Sciences and co-author of the study, suggested why.
“MPA can last longer than VPA and MSA. Therefore, it may contribute significantly to physical activity-related energy expenditure and weight maintenance or weight loss. [MSA] It can contribute to the maintenance of muscle mass as we age,” said Professor Stamatakis.
Preserving muscle mass is beneficial against “dozens of chronic diseases,” he said. These include type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, age-related fractures, loss of mobility, and avoidance of falls that can lead to loss of independence.
“Such symptoms and events are often treated as ‘age-related’ ailments, but in fact they are people who are chronically inactive and need muscle to support healthy metabolic function and wellness.” This is due to the small amount. Sarcopenia,” said the professor. Stamatakis.
At the same time, he also pointed out that VPA and MSA have advantages over MPA. For example, VPA can improve cardiorespiratory fitness.
Corresponding author of this study, Dr. Ruben Lopez-BuenoA professor at the Faculty of Physiotherapy and Nursing, University of Zaragoza, Spain, said of MSA:
Professor Stamatakis suggested a possible mechanism behind MSA’s effects on cancer risk, stating, “Strength training reduces circulating levels of sex hormones, leading to breast and endometrial cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. It may reduce the risk of cancer,” he said.
He added: Cachexiastrength training may help manage muscle dysfunction.
Dr. Melody DingAn associate professor at the School of Medicine and Health at the Sydney School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study, was less convinced. “We are still not jumping to conclusions that MSA reduces cancer.”
“While some specific combinations appear to do so, the overall patterns for combinations with and without MSA are still very similar, and the confidence intervals tend to overlap.” she explained.
MPA, VPA, and MSA may also have combined effects, but “the design of our study does not allow us to see if there is a synergistic effect between MPA, VPA, and MSA,” Dr. Lopez Bueno said. said.
“It is still unclear whether the separate effects of each type of physical activity lead to synergistic effects between them and needs further investigation,” he said.
The key message of these findings, according to Dr. Lopez Bueno, “is that each type of physical activity is important for optimizing mortality risk reduction.”
“Any type of physical activity performed alone, or the addition of two types of physical activity, even at higher levels, combined with the other three in terms of reducing the risk of death. I don’t think it’s any better than that,” he said.
“I think physicians should encourage participation in various activities such as MPA, VPA, and MSA whenever possible,” Dr. Ding said. “This is just one study.”
Dr. Ding also said, “I’m having a hard time getting people up to recommended levels, [so] Raising the bar can make people even less motivated. “
Professor Stamatakis asked physicians for “comprehensive and in-depth physical activity advice”, while “clinicians should ideally tailor advice to baseline activity and performance levels.” warned.
For people who are not physically active, he said, a “smarter goal” is to introduce moderate-intensity walking with just a few bursts of VPA, followed by strength building.