Regular physical activity has been known to provide many proven health benefits. But have you ever given a second thought that our current activity levels and diet can impact the outcome of health and well-being for decades from now? Fitness habits may impact on future health and fitness.
A recent study conducted by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany that has been published in the journal of ‘Psychology of Sport and Exercise’ reveals that our current dietary habits and physical activities can determine the outcome of our future health, for almost up to two decades from now.
The study comprised of nearly 500 adults (252 men and 243 women) and the survey was made from 1992 to 2010. Researchers evaluated the participants’ overall fitness and medical condition for almost every five years, in 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2010, and participants filled out survey forms.
The researchers adapted a four-stage “biopsychosocial model” to discern the factors that could influence the future physical fitness and health of an individual. The first stage includes environmental factors such as socioeconomic status and migration background. The second level consist personal factors such as stress management strategies, social support and the sense of coherence.
Behavioral factors including habits such as smoking, dietary habits and physical exercise has the third level. Fourth stage is made up of physical fitness and health. The research concludes that all these four stages and factors to certain extent impacted the participants’ health in 1992. But on top of that, initial nutrition and activity levels influenced the fitness status and health of the participants in 2010, 18 years following the initial studies.
“The results of our study reveal how important it is to acquire health-promoting habits at early adult age already. This should also be in the focus of prevention measures,” says Prof. Alexander Woll, of the Institute of Sports and Science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, responding to the study results.
This research underlines the importance of establishing active lifestyle and healthy dietary habits early in life as these behaviors follow throughout the life. So start exercising today in addition to eating right.