Want to know the secret to a happy and healthy life??

Get as fit as you can!

Between 1991-2014 the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (Cleveland, Ohio, United States) put 122,007 people through a Treadmill Based Cardio Stress Test.

The participants were ranked accordingly to their ability to reach then exceed 85% of their estimated maximal heart rate, and keep going until failure. At failure a VO2Max (maximum rate at which your muscles can extract oxygen from your blood and put it to metabolic use to generate energy) score was taken and then ranked into 5 categories against everyone's else's results;

- LOW = Bottom 25%
- BELOW AVERAGE = Between 25-49%
- ABOVE AVERAGE = Between 50-74%
- HIGH = Between 75-97.6%
- ELITE = Top 2.3% (>97.7%)

The average age for the study was 53.4yrs, with 59.2% of the participants being Male, participants were ranked into the decade of their age group (20-30, 30-40 etc), and there was an ave on 8.4yrs between the initial VO2MAX test and the follow up meeting!

So here's how the initial VO2MAX tests matched up within the 5 categories;

- LOW = 29,191 (24%)
- BELOW AVERAGE = 27,172 (22%)
- ABOVE AVERAGE = 31,897 (26%)
- HIGH = 30,187 (25%)
- ELITE = 3,570 (3%)

The hypothesis of this test was to see if people with higher VO2MAX scores had a lessor risk of All Caused Mortality (ACM);

Throughout the study there was a total of 13,637 deaths (ACM), how these looked when placed into the 5 categories;

- LOW = 6,904 (51%)
- BELOW AVERAGE = 2,888 (21%)
- ABOVE AVERAGE = 2,340 (17%)
- HIGH = 1412 (10%)
- ELITE = 93 (1%)

So what do these results tell us?

1) That participants with LOW & BELOW AVERAGE VO2MAX scores made up almost half of the total test group (46%)

2) The same above two groups accounted for almost 3/4 of all deaths (72%), let that sink in!

46% of the test group population accounted for 72% of the deaths!

Check out the table below, especially in the highlighted numbers (1.0 = no difference between the two groups, higher the number the higher the decrease in ACM);

- LOW vs ELITE = 404% decrease in ACM if you were in the Elite VO2MAX Group compared to the LOW

- If you were able to improve your fitness by such an extent that you were able to move your VO2MAX score from the LOW group to the ABOVE AVERAGE one, you would decrease your ACM likelihood by 175%.

These are staggering and truly important results that everyone of us need to hear.

Now I'm not saying that we all need to be running marathons 4 times a week to stay healthy, because over training our aerobic system with the same 'habitual vigorous exercise' can in fact be harmful (Atrial Fibrillation, Coronary Artery Calcification, Myocarditis & Aortic Dictation).

But what we do need to be doing is maximising our ability to adapt our aerobic system in a multitude of ways throughout the spectrum of HR Zones as often as we can;

and what are my go to ways of doing this?

- Sauna
- Weight Training
- Circuit Training
- Swimming
- Running
- Interval Running
- High Intensity Running (Speed)
- Heated Movement (hot yoga, skipping in from of heaters)
- Hypoxic Training Environments (mouth taping & under water strength training)

All of these experiences elicit a different heart rate response because the environment creating the heart rate is different, and here in lies the key, and when you understand this, you can start to get creative to how and what you expose the body to and the subsequent stress you place on it, because essentially all the above activities are all differing forms of stress, and we should all know by now that stress is actually our friend!

Remember, our body has a unique way of rewarding us for what we expose it to....

It's up to you what you do with this information
Until Next Time,