Just 75 Minutes of Moderate-Intensity Exercise a Week Can Prevent Early Deaths and Cardiovascular Disease
Exercise is a crucial part of staying healthy, and new research shows that just 75 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week can prevent 10% of early deaths and 5% of cardiovascular disease cases, as well as 3% of cancer cases. Additionally, adding 500 steps to your daily walking routine in your 70s could reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke by 14%, according to a new study.
The research, conducted by scientists at Cambridge University, found that every additional 500 steps walked during a day reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 14%.
“If you are someone who finds the idea of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week a bit daunting, then our findings should be good news,” said study author Soren Brage of the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge in a press release. “This is also a good starting position — if you find that 75 minutes a week is manageable, then you could try stepping it up gradually to the full recommended amount.”
A study conducted by researchers examined 196 peer-reviewed articles, which encompassed data from over thirty million individuals from ninety-four different study cohorts. The researchers looked into the correlation between amounts of physical activity and the chance of having heart disease, cancer, and dying prematurely.
When it comes to the best time to exercise, the research found that people who exercised in the midafternoon and people who regularly changed their exercise time from day to day had a lower risk of death, both in general and from heart disease, than evening and morning exercisers.
The study also suggested that if middle-aged and older people added just 20 minutes of exercise to their daily routine, they could cut the risk of hospitalization for various conditions by anywhere from 4% to 23%.
“We know that physical activity, such as walking or cycling, is good for you, especially if you feel it raises your heart rate,” said Prof James Woodcock, also of Cambridge University. “But what we’ve found is there are substantial benefits to heart health and reducing your risk of cancer even if you can only manage 10 minutes every day.”
Physical activity that is considered to be at a moderate intensity is any activity that will cause an increase in heart rate and breathing rate, but not to the point that it becomes difficult to talk. Examples include walking, cycling, gardening, and active play with children or grandchildren.
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