One of the most important things that are recommended for heart health would be to exercise. But what about when you just feel exhausted after walking up a few steps? How could you possibly make it in the gym?
According to a new study from the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, it is actually the lack of one common vitamin – rather than the lack of exercise – that is preventing us from getting into shape.
In addition, if you load up on this cheap (sometimes free) vitamin, you’re 400% less likely to die earlier as compared to when you are lacking in it.
Cardiorespiratory fitness is something that is easily measurable. It is the amount of oxygen your heart and lungs can provide, and the amount that your body can use, during an intense exercise.
The more oxygen you have, the harder and longer you can exercise without feeling drop-dead tired.
Researchers in the new study collected the cardiorespiratory fitness level and vitamin D levels found in the blood of 1,995 American participants, information that was originally collected by the National Health and Nutrition Survey between 2001 and 2004.
They categorized them into groups, according to the amount of vitamin D found in the blood.
When they accounted for other factors that can influence the relationship, such as age, race, gender, body mass index, blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, inflammation, red blood cells, and kidney function, they found that people with the highest vitamin D levels had cardiorespiratory fitness that was 2.9 times higher than those with the lowest levels.
Thus, it would be ideal to make sure that you get enough sunlight and vitamin D-enriched food in your diet to improve your fitness levels.
In fact, in the same month, the journal JAMA Network Open published a study that showed that people with the highest cardiorespiratory fitness were 400% less likely to die early, as compared to people with the lowest fitness were.
So yes, exercise does matter! And strangely enough, vitamin D makes it easier to exercise.