The health benefits of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness

ABSTRACT: The benefits of physical activity are plentiful and significant. High levels of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness (referred to simply as “fitness” in this article) are associated with lower all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Furthermore, physical activity can reduce the development of chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. Additionally, physical activity can promote healthy cognitive and psychosocial function. An extensive effort to ascertain the benefits from the current Canadian physical activity guidelines on all-cause mortality and seven chronic diseases suggests that the current recommendation for at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic physical activity per week in sessions of 10 minutes or more is associated with a 20% to 30% lower risk for premature all-cause mortality and incidence of many chronic diseases. Because the health benefits of activity have been established and physical inactivity is a modifiable risk factor central to the development of many chronic diseases, it is imperative that we encourage regular physical exercise for optimal health. The benefits of physical activity exhibit a dose-response relationship; the higher the amount of physical activity, the greater the health benefits. However, the most unfit individuals have the potential for the greatest reduction in risk, even with small increases in physical activity. Given the significant health benefits afforded by physical activity, considerable efforts should be made to promote this vital agent of health. 

Autor / Fonte:Issue: BCMJ, Vol. 58, No. 3, April 2016, page(s) 131-137 Articles James McKinney, MD, MSc, Daniel J. Lithwick, MHA, Barbara N. Morrison, BHK, Hamed Nazzari, MD, PhD, Saul Isserow, MBBCh, Brett Heilbron, MB ChB, Andrew D. Krahn, MD