There is a very popular post, which must have been read by many people.
Wooden elephant, heart rate 40 times per minute, life span 80 years; The cheetah, which has the fastest speed on land, has a life span of only 20 years. The tortoise has a heart rate of 10 times and a life span of more than 100 years. However, fast mice have a heart rate of 450 beats per minute and a life span of only 2 years.
Life will be overdrawn in advance by sports. The more young adults appear to be stronger than ordinary people, the faster they decline in their middle and old age.
The main meaning seems to be to say: exercise reduces one’s life, and life lies in rest. But in fact this is a fallacy! What is wrong?
Truth 1: Mammals have a law of life expectancy, but people are exceptions.
The above post can attract attention, mainly because it mentions the relationship between exercise and life span.
There is an interesting natural phenomenon. The heartbeats of various mammals are basically similar in life, about 2.5 billion times.
For example, elephants have a heart rate of about 30 times per minute and a life span of about 70 years. The heart rate of the mouse is as high as 450 beats per minute, but its life span is only nearly one year.
It is not without basis to say that [animals with fast heartbeat live short], but human beings should be excluded because human beings have mastered science.
As can be seen from the above figure, human beings are obviously not on the negative correlation line between heart rate and life span, and the life span of human beings is much higher, mainly due to scientific development and social progress.
The reason why rumors are wrong is that they mistakenly regard the [correlation] in the study as [causality].
Let’s give another example: the weight of animals also has a curve with their life span. Whales can weigh up to 120 tons and live for about 80 years, while hamsters weigh about 60 grams and live for only 3 years.
Is it because you gain weight and live a long life? Obviously not. We all know that the average life expectancy of overweight people is shorter than that of underweight people, and even the life expectancy of taller people is shorter than that of shorter people.
Truth 2: Exercise will not consume life span, but will prolong it.
If it is true as the first post said [exercise reduces one’s life], then it seems that the following two conclusions can be inferred:
- Athletes should live shorter than the general public? People who exercise regularly should live shorter than those who do not?
In fact, we can find many documents to tell you that what is the truth:
1. Olympic gold medalists live longer
A 2012 paper published in the British Medical Journal showed that Olympic medal winners lived an average of 2.8 years longer than the public control group.
Some people may argue that not all Olympic sports are very intense, such as shooting. So if the sports lose their lives and the fierce Tour de France, should the life span of the competitors be shorter than that of ordinary people?
2. The death rate of Tour de France cyclists is lower.
A paper published in the European Heart Journal in 2013 showed that the death rate of Tour de France cyclists was 41% lower than that of the same control group.
Some people may retort that these are all excellent athletes. Maybe they have better genes, or they have extraordinary social status and living conditions. Then, let’s look at ordinary people again.
3. Regular exercise can prolong life span.
In 2012, researchers at Harvard University studied the follow-up data of nearly 650,000 people over 40 years old for decades and showed that:
- Walking fast for 75 minutes a week prolongs the average life span by 1.8 years compared with those who do not exercise. Walk fast for 150 minutes a week, prolonging the average life span by about 4 years. People who exercise regularly and maintain normal weight live 7.2 years longer than obese patients who do not exercise. Low exercise can reduce mortality by 20%. Moderate exercise reduces the mortality rate by about 40%.
Seeing here, those who believe in scientific basis should not be difficult to draw scientific conclusion: sports not only do not reduce life span, but also prolong life span!
Truth 3: Exercise Reduces Resting Heart Rate and Helps Prolong Life
Then the question arises: Exercise makes the heart beat faster, while the life span of faster heart beat is shorter. Why does exercise prolong the life span? There seems to be some contradiction between the two.
Athletes live longer for many reasons. The most likely main reason should be that exercise enhances cardiopulmonary function, so the [resting heart rate] when not exercising decreases.
The resting heart rate of normal people ranges from 60 to 100 times per minute (we can take an average of 75 times per minute), and the heart rate of athletes is lower than that of ordinary people.
However, if ordinary people exercise for a period of time, their cardiopulmonary function will increase, their cardiac output will increase, and their normal resting heart rate will also decrease, even as low as less than 60 times per minute.
This phenomenon of becoming [athlete’s heart] is a manifestation of strong myocardial function.
The logic of [the number of heartbeats in one’s life is limited, and when one reaches a certain number of heartbeats, one’s life is over] is basically correct.
Then, people who insist on exercising have faster heart rates for the one hour of exercise every day (perhaps less, and only professional athletes will have much more), but they still have lower resting heart rates for more than 20 hours every day. Therefore, people who insist on exercising have fewer heartbeats every day.
In addition, human beings are creatures, not machines. We cannot compare the length of life with simple [loss], and we must not ignore the adaptability of the human body.
Adherence to proper exercise will bring about improvement of body function, reduction of resting heart rate and extension of life span.
Exercise not only makes people energetic, but also helps to control body weight and prevent or delay cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. The health benefits of exercise, like the disadvantages of smoking, are a fact that has been proved by a large number of medical studies.