To Your Health
May, 2024 (Vol. 18, Issue 05)
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The Life Extender

By Editorial Staff

You can't live forever, but you can certainly increase your odds of living a long, full, healthy life. One of the most important ways is to keep your heart in ideal shape. That's known as cardiovascular fitness, and you achieve it by performing activities that make your heart work hard.

A huge research review has found that every 1-MET increase in cardiorespiratory fitness reduces death risk by 11-17% and heart disease risk by 18%. What's a MET? It's the amount of oxygen consumed while sitting at rest. The more strenuous your cardiovascular activity, the more oxygen consumed. It's that simple. For example, jogging a 10-minute mile is about 10 METs; playing singles tennis is about 8 METs; and gardening is about 4 METs.

If you're used to sitting around a lot and can't imagine getting up to perform a 10-MET activity anytime soon, keep in mind that even a 1-MET increase is powerful. If you're participating in consistent aerobic activity, keep it up – and see if you can take it to the next level. Your heart will thank you for it.