Moderate-vigorous exercise is most optimal for improving physical fitness and health

A new study in the European Heart Journal has found that moderate-vigorous exercise is most optimal for improving physical fitness, thus lowering the risk of disease.

The study was conducted by researchers at Boston University. It involved about 2,000 participants as part of the Framingham Heart Study, in which cardiopulmonary exercise tests were initiated to measure physical fitness.

“Maximum effort cardiopulmonary exercise testing and objective physical activity measures via accelerometers worn for 1 week concurrent with cardiopulmonary exercise testing and 7.8 years prior were obtained in 2070 Framingham Heart Study participants,” the study states.

According to the findings, moderate-vigorous physical activity is associated with greater objective fitness, decreasing the risk of pathologies, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and metabolic conditions.

“Our findings provide a detailed assessment of relations of different types of PA with multidimensional cardiorespiratory fitness measures and suggest favourable longitudinal changes in PA (and MVPA in particular) are associated with greater objective fitness,” said one author of the study in a news release.

“By establishing the relationship between different forms of habitual physical activity and detailed fitness measures, we hope that our study will provide important information that can ultimately be used to improve physical fitness and overall health across the life course.”

The study was published online on August 26th, 2021.