We evaluated how the intensity of physical exercise as a lifestyle habit is associated with a comprehensive array of health parameters.
Total body composition and bone scans were analyzed using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Exercise intensity scores were computed using the Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET). Handgrip strength was measured using a dynamometer. Various hormones and metabolic parameters were measured and cognition function tests and data regarding general health and sexual functions were collected.
The present study showed that regular physical exercise of enough intensity as a lifestyle habit has significant health benefits. The major health compartments including some domains of cognition, bone status, cardiovascular and metabolic health, total body fat and insulin levels were significantly improved due to regular physical exercises. Some aspects of sexual function, General lifestyle factors such as well-being, physical tone and strength, as well as sleep hygiene significantly benefited from regular physical exercise. Testosterone levels in men were higher due to regular exercises.
The results of the present study support the strategy of promoting regular physical exercise to mitigate increases in risks of the major diseases such as diabetes, metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, sexual dysfunctions, bone and muscular dysfunctions. The MET-min is an objective and practical tool to assess an individual's level of exercise intensity and promotion the attainment of at least > 1000 MET-min in order to attain the exercise associated health benefits.