In a new study, researchers found an effective way to help middle-aged people, especially women, to reduce the risk of a heart attack.
The method is called cardiorespiratory fitness.
The research was conducted by a team from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
It is known that general physical fitness is good for the heart, brain and overall health.
Cardiorespiratory fitness, one type of physical fitness, is the ability of your circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to muscles during sustained physical activity.
The current way to measure cardiorespiratory fitness is using VO2 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use during exercise.
A higher VO2 max means higher cardiorespiratory fitness.
Previous studies have found that higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness are linked to fewer heart problems.
In the study, the team found that higher cardiorespiratory fitness translated to lower heart attack risk, especially in women.
They used VO2 max data and the length as well as the intensity of physical activity to predict cardiorespiratory fitness for more than 26,000 Norwegians.
These people were 56 years old on average at the beginning of the study and free of heart disease.
The researchers tracked their health for up to 15 years.
They found that women with high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were 25% less likely to have a first heart attack than women with low levels.
In addition, men with high levels of fitness were 10% less likely to suffer a heart attack than men in the low fitness group.
The researchers suggest that cardiorespiratory fitness level. can be a risk calculator for first heart attacks.
Moreover, increasing cardiorespiratory fitness may help reduce heart attack risk.
They suggest that people who want to increase cardiorespiratory fitness should do exercise at least 150 minutes every week and reduce their sedentary behaviors.
Although the findings show that men get lower benefit from cardiorespiratory fitness than women, men should pay attention to their fitness.
It is important to note that the fitter you are, the less likely you are to have your first heart attack.
Future work needs to find out why exercise affects men and women differently.
The lead author of the study is Rajesh Shigdel, a researcher in the Department of Public Health and Nursing at Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association
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