If you’re looking for ways to increase your lifespan, incorporating intense exercise into a workout routine is something to consider. Vigorous exercise can help improve a range of essential biomarkers, including resting heart rate, blood pressure, body composition, blood flow to muscles, and muscle strength, all of which are important indicators of health and disease.
Before we dive into the relationship between exercise intensity and longevity, let’s first examine what counts as high-intensity exercise.
What counts as vigorous exercise?
Measuring your heart rate before, during, and after your workout is one of the most effective ways to gauge exercise intensity. By tracking your heart rate, you can determine how much effort you’re putting into each workout, as well as what these numbers mean for overall heart health.
There are three different ranges of exercise intensity—low, moderate, and intense—and each one has a different set of heart rate zones attached to them. Low- and moderate-intensity exercises are completed with less physical strain, while vigorous exercise is a form of activity that is done with a large amount of effort which results in reaching 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.
To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220, and this will result in the average maximum number of times your heart should beat per minute during exercise.
Examples of vigorous activity
Generally speaking, high-intensity exercise can be any activity that requires 7/10 effort or higher and is difficult to sustain. You should be short of breath but may still be able to speak in choppy sentences. Examples of vigorous activity include swimming, playing soccer, jumping rope, or running over 5 MPH.
Correlation between exercise and longevity
Increase the intensity to prolong your life
Regular exercise is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body (other than paying attention to nutrition, of course!). From improved mental health to better sleeping patterns to weight management, there are so many ways that exercise benefits the body. But what about increasing your lifespan?
A recent study showed that women with poor exercise capacity (less than 10 METs) had an annual rate of death from cardiovascular disease of four times greater than women with good exercise capacity of 10 METs or more .
Another study showed people who had a higher ratio of vigorous to moderate activity ratio (at least 150 minutes of intense exercise per week) had a lower risk of all-cause mortality, which is commonly used to gauge lifespan .
Why does intense exercise reign supreme?
Vigorous activity improves VO2peak, resting heart rate, blood pressure, blood flow to muscles, and muscle strength, all of which are important biomarkers for overall health [4, 5, 6]. These biomarkers have a strong correlation with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, insulin sensitivity, and even death – and improving these numbers can be helpful for extending your life and healthy years. . Intense exercise also helps with weight management and improves body composition, such as increasing lean muscle mass and boosting metabolism for several hours post-workout.
Athlete’s heart: a natural adaptation
Participating in intense exercise for more than five hours per week may result in a phenomenon deemed “athlete’s heart”. Essentially, vigorous activity causes the heart to remodel over time. The chamber size of the left ventricle, and the muscle mass and wall thickness of the heart increase to pump more blood through the body and meet the oxygen demands of working muscles [8, 11].
When the size of the left ventricle increases, heart rate decreases while still maintaining the right amount of cardiac output. As the heart continually endures this type of physical stress, it may lead to remodeling of the heart or thicker heart walls . It’s important to keep in mind that this is a natural occurrence and can happen as the heart adapts to intense athletic training.An athlete’s heart only becomes an issue if you have a pre-existing heart condition, so consult your doctor before starting (or continuing) to increase your training levels.
Can you do too much intense exercise?
The more you exercise, the better, right? Not necessarily true! There is such a thing as overdoing it, and by pushing yourself too hard, you risk injury, negating your results, reaching burnout, or damaging your heart . In fact, large exercise volumes and vigorous-intensity exercises have both been associated with accelerated coronary artery calcification, myocardial fibrosis, and other potential cardiac maladaptations [9,10].
For those with an underlying cardiac disease, high-intensity exercise can increase the risk of heart rhythm disorders, atrial fibrillation, cardiac arrest, or sudden cardiac death [10,11].
Consult your healthcare provider about identifying any underlying cardiac issues! This will help you understand your physical limits and how best to tailor your training sessions to achieve maximum performance.
To avoid over-training and to achieve maximum cardiovascular results, consider doing moderate-intensity cardio with some vigorous activity sprinkled in a few days per week. This will help to supplement your workouts and take your intensity to the next level without overdoing it. Plus, it will keep things new and exciting. If you find that you’re extra sore and tired after a workout or series of workouts, listen to your body. Sometimes extra rest is exactly what your body needs.
If you want to incorporate more vigorous exercises into your routine, here are some ways to (safely) spice things up and get your heart rate pumping:
- Introduce interval training. Add in some high-intensity exercises to training sessions a few times per week for additional heart health benefits. This will help improve overall performance as well as longevity.
- Find your target heart rate zone. Take your training to the next level by finding your maximum heart rate and catering your activity levels to those zones. Be cautious to not exceed your maximum heart rate and be sure to pay attention to how you feel during any workout.
- Recover properly. High-intensity training sessions can be exhausting, so don’t skip the recovery phase! Be sure to drink enough water, eat a nutritious post-workout snack, cool down properly, and take it easy on rest days to avoid injury.
There is no denying the health benefits of physical activity, especially when it comes to high intensity workouts. Incorporating vigorous exercises into your routine can improve your longevity by reducing the risk of CVD, and improving blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, muscle mass, and body composition. Moreover, incorporating high intensity activity throughout the week can help you take your fitness and athletic performance to the next level.
As you continue to work in high intensity exercises into your routine, don’t forget about the importance of adequate recovery, as well as to watch for signs of overtraining, excess fatigue, or changes in your physical or mental health. By listening to your body, you will be able to gauge what it needs the most, which can help prevent injury, improve happiness, and increase lifespan.
- “Keeping Track of the Oldest People in the World”. Smithsonian. Retrieved 2019-01-13.Gavrilova NS, Gavrilov LA, Krut’ko VN (January 2017). “
- Mortality Trajectories at Exceptionally High Ages: A Study of Supercentenarians”. Living to 100 Monograph. 2017 (1B). PMC 5696798. PMID 29170764.
- “Valery Novoselov: Investigating Jeanne Calment’s Longevity Record”. Life Extension Advocacy Foundation. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
- Marziali C (7 December 2010). “
- Reaching Toward the Fountain of Youth”. USC Trojan Family Magazine. Archived from the original on 13 December 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- “LongevityMap”. Human Ageing Genomic Resources. senescence.info by João Pedro de Magalhães. n.d. Retrieved 2013-09-23.
- “Multivariate genomic scan implicates novel loci and haem metabolism in human ageing”.
- “Blood iron levels could be key to slowing ageing, gene study shows”. phys.org. Retrieved 18 August 2020. Govindaraju D, Atzmon G, Barzilai N (March 2015). “
- Genetics, lifestyle and longevity: Lessons from centenarians”. Applied & Translational Genomics. 4: 23–32. doi:10.1016/j.atg.2015.01.001. PMC 4745363. PMID 26937346.Passarino G, De Rango F, Montesanto A (2016-04-05). “
- Human longevity: Genetics or Lifestyle? It takes two to tango”. Immunity & Ageing. 13 (1): 12. doi:10.1186/s12979-016-0066-z. PMC 4822264. PMID 27053941.
- Leisure time physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity and mortality: a large pooled cohort analysis”. PLOS Medicine. 9 (11): e1001335. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001335. PMC 3491006. PMID 23139642.
- “Implementation of longevity-promoting supplements and medications in public health practice: achievements, challenges and future perspectives”.
- “Estimating impact of food choices on life expectancy: A modeling study”. PLOS Medicine. 19 (2): e1003889. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1003889. PMC 8824353. PMID 35134067. S2CID 246676734. Lay summary: “
- Changing your diet could add up to a decade to life expectancy, study finds”. Public Library of Science. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
- Protein Quantity and Source, Fasting-Mimicking Diets, and Longevity, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 10, Issue Supplement_4, November 2019, Pages S340–S350.Fontana L, Partridge L (March 2015).
- “Promoting health and longevity through diet: from model organisms to humans”. Cell. 161 (1): 106–118. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2015.02.020. PMC 4547605. PMID 25815989.Longo VD, Antebi A, Bartke A, Barzilai N, Brown-Borg HM, Caruso C, et al. (August 2015). “
- Interventions to Slow Aging in Humans: Are We Ready?”. Aging Cell. 14 (4): 497–510. doi:10.1111/acel.12338. PMC 4531065. PMID 25902704.
Marketing Programs You May Like: