Danish research article

Danish Researchers show that moderate exercise will not help you live longer

Researchers from Copenhagen have discovered that short bursts of intense exercise are better for the heart than just plodding along.

Their study that suggests turning it up a gear could add an extra 5 years to one’s life.

The Danish team also added that from the evidence, moderate exertion, while clearly beneficial, might not be all that is needed to give the best level of protection against cardiovascular disease.

Academics monitored the health of 5,000 people who cycled regularly for 20 years and found that most benefit was gained from pedalling intensively for short periods.

Men who rode fast could expect to live 5.3 years longer than those who said they rode slowly, while for such women the figure was 3.9 years.

Men who rode at an average speed could expect another 2.9 years of live, and such women 2.2 years.

Dr Peter Schnohr from Bispebjerg University Hospital, told the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Paris

“It is the intensity, not the duration, of cycling that is of the greatest importance in relation to all forms of mortality, or longevity, and it is even more pronounced for coronary heart disease.”

The analysis, based on data from the Copenhagen City Heart Study, suggested those who cycled fast for between half an hour and an hour a day were likely to live longest.

Relative to slow cyclists, they had a 56 per cent lower risk of dying overall during the study period, which included a 74 per cent lower risk of dying from coronary heart disease.

The study was based on people without health problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes, aged 20 to 90.

This is all good news to Octathaletes who have known for some time now that short sharp intense exercise clearly gives them the results they want and that it makes them feel terrific. Now they have clear scientific proof that it is better for them than long slow plodding along on a treadmill or a cross trainer.