Those who exercise regularly support their bodies – this is not news. However, a recent study shows that good fitness can have a positive impact on women’s life expectancy.
Sport and physical activity, no matter in what form, have many positive effects on the body – of course this also applies to women.
So far, however, there has been little scientific data on this good influence of regular sports units and accompanying fitness on the female organism.
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Positive impact on female health
The results of a current study tie in at precisely this point and show why regular training is worthwhile for female health and even life expectancy.
The results are clear: women who exercise regularly have a significantly lower risk of dying from heart disease, cancer or other causes.
This suggests an investigation that was presented last week at the scientific congress of the European Cardiology Society (ESC) .
How resilient is the female heart?
Because women typically live longer than men, this specific research was needed to determine the positive effects of exercise on female heart health.
Using echocardiography, the present study examined the resilience and cardiac function of a total of 4,714 adult women during exercise and their relationship with life span.
During echocardiography, the participants should run on a treadmill and slowly increase the intensity to exhaustion. Images of the working heart were taken during the test.
Fitness was defined as the maximum load of ten metabolic equivalents (METs). This corresponds to a rapid ascent of four floors without a break.
Women who achieved good training scores of ten METs or more were then compared to participants who achieved less than ten METs.
Significantly reduced mortality from sports
During the follow-up period of 4.6 years on average, 345 cardiovascular deaths, 164 cancer deaths and a further 203 deaths occurred due to other causes.
After ruling out other factors that could affect lifespan, the researchers concluded that the METs were clearly associated with a lower risk of death.
The annual mortality rate from cardiovascular diseases was almost four times lower for women with good physical performance than for people with poor values (0.6 percent to 2.2 percent).
Physical fitness also had a massive impact on cancer deaths: The risk of dying from cancer was only half as high with good fitness (0.4 percent versus 0.9 percent).
In general, the mortality rate from other causes was more than four times lower than that of women with poor physical endurance (0.3 versus 1.4 percent).
Women benefit from training at all ages
“Good training capacity predicted a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer and other causes,” said Dr. Peteiro in a communication on the study .
Although there were more middle-aged and older women among the study participants (80 percent of the subjects were between 50 and 75 years old), women of all ages can benefit from good fitness.
“The results were the same for women over 60 and under 60 – although the group of under 50 was smaller,” explains the scientist
Improve overall fitness and heart function
In contrast to general fitness, the researchers were only able to draw conclusions from the cardiac function measured during the test as to the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
Subjects with poor functioning of the heart’s pumping chambers had an increased risk of dying from such cardiovascular disease in the following years.
“If you look at the two results of the examination together, it is unlikely that a woman whose heart is working normally during exercise will develop cardiovascular disease,” explains the expert.
“However, if their overall fitness is low, there is still a risk of dying from cancer or some other cause.”
If you want to support your body, you should not only work on your endurance, but also improve your overall physical fitness.