It’s common knowledge that physical fitness is essential, particularly as we begin to age. Your fitness level can help combat a multitude of conditions that become more prevalent as we get older. Enhancing flexibility, improving our immune system’s ability to ward off chronic illnesses, and maintaining a healthy weight are some of the physical benefits that come with routine exercise and activity. Training and working out can also improve our mental health as well, helping us to sleep, improving our mood, and boosting overall brain function.
Study Reveals Risk Of Stroke In Unfit Individuals
A recent study may give us all yet another reason to get off the couch and start moving on a regular basis to increase our fitness level. The study, conducted in Norway, revealed that enhancing baseline fitness levels may reduce the risk or stroke and prevent an early death. Published in the American Hearth Associates (AHA) journal, the test targeted a total of 1,400 men ranging in age from 40-59.
The study placed the men into four categories:
- Remained fit
- Became unfit
- Remain unfit
- Became fit
After categorizing the participants, the study followed and analyzed the men for a total of 35 years, or until they died. Over the study period, the researchers discovered that the participants who began the process with a lower fitness level but became more active later had a 60% reduced risk of having a stroke and a 34% lower risk of dying than participants who remained unfit throughout the study.
Additionally, participants who started with high fitness levels and were deemed unfit later were almost 2.5 times as likely to suffer a stroke and showed a 74% increase in the likelihood of death when compared to those who stayed fit over the course of the entire study.
Staying Fit Should Be A Lifelong Pursuit
The Norway study further emphasizes the importance of making physical fitness a lifelong pursuit. However, it’s critical to know that it’s never too late to start working out. Other studies indicate that even mild exercise routines can yield significant health benefits, making it critical to start moving, no matter what your age.
Before starting any physical fitness regime, it’s important to consult with your doctor. Your physician can give you an examination to determine your current health levels and work with you to develop a plan that serves as your baseline as you begin your journey to better health.