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When you can’t fit all of your training into a busy day, do you think there’s no point in doing anything? You should rethink that mindset. Just 11 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity aerobic activity a day could lower your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease or premature death, according to a large new study.
Aerobic activities include walking, dancing, running, jogging, cycling, and swimming. You can gauge the intensity level of an activity based on your heart rate and how hard you breathe when you move. Generally, being able to talk but not sing during an activity would make it a moderate-intensity activity. Vigorous intensity is marked by the inability to hold a conversation.
According to previous research, higher levels of physical activity have been associated with lower rates of premature death and chronic disease. But how the risk levels for these results are affected by the amount of exercise someone does has been harder to determine. To explore this impact, scientists largely from the University of Cambridge in the UK looked at data from 196 studies, representing more than 30 million adult participants who were followed for an average of 10 years. The results of this latest study were published Tuesday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The study mainly focused on participants who had done the minimum recommended amount of 150 minutes of exercise per week, or 22 minutes per day. Compared to inactive participants, adults who got 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic physical activity per week had a 31% lower risk of dying from any cause, a 29% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and a 15% lower risk of dying from cancer.
The same amount of exercise was associated with a 27% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 12% lower risk for cancer.
“This is a compelling systematic review of existing research,” said Dr. Leana Wen, CNN medical analyst, emergency physician and professor of public health at George Washington University, who was not involved in the review. the research. “We already knew that there was a strong correlation between increased physical activity and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and premature death. This research confirms this and further indicates that less than the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week can help.
Even people who did only half the minimum recommended amount of physical activity benefited. Accumulating 75 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week – about 11 minutes of activity per day – was associated with a 23% risk of premature death. Being active for 75 minutes a week was also enough to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 17% and cancer by 7%.
Beyond 150 minutes per week, the additional benefits were less.
“If you’re someone who finds the idea of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week a little daunting, then our results should be welcome news,” said study author, The. Dr Soren Brage, Group Leader of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Group in the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, in a press release. “It’s also a good starting position – if you find 75 minutes a week to be manageable, then you can try increasing it gradually to the full recommended amount.”
The authors’ findings support the World Health Organization’s position that physical activity is better than not, even if you’re not getting the recommended amount of exercise.
“One in 10 premature deaths could have been avoided if everyone had achieved even half the recommended level of physical activity,” the authors wrote in the study. Additionally, “10.9% and 5.2% of all incident cases of CVD (cardiovascular disease) and cancer would have been prevented.”
Important Note: If you feel pain while exercising, stop immediately. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.
The authors did not have details about the specific types of physical activity the participants engaged in. But some experts have ideas about how physical activity could reduce the risk of chronic disease and premature death.
“There are many potential mechanisms, including improved and maintained body composition, insulin resistance, and physical function due to a wide variety of favorable influences of aerobic activity,” said Haruki Momma, associate professor of medicine and sport and exercise science at Tohoku. University in Japan. Mom was not involved in the search.
Benefits could also include improved immune function, lung and heart health, inflammation levels, high blood pressure, cholesterol and the amount of body fat, said Eleanor Watts, postdoctoral fellow at the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute. Watts was not involved in the research.
“These translate to a lower risk of chronic disease,” said Peter Katzmarzyk, associate executive director for population and public health sciences at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Katzmarzyk did not participate in the research.
The fact that participants who only did half the minimum recommended amount of exercise still experienced benefits doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t aim for more exercise, but rather that “perfection doesn’t should not be the enemy of good,” Wen said. “Some are better than none.”
To get up to 150 minutes of physical activity per week, find activities you enjoy, Wen said. “You’re much more likely to commit to something you enjoy doing than something you have to force yourself to do.”
And when it comes to how you adapt to your exercise, you can think outside the box.
“Moderate activity doesn’t have to involve what we normally think of (as) exercise, like sports or running,” said study co-author Leandro Garcia, senior lecturer at the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast. A press release. “Sometimes you just have to replace certain habits.
“For example, try walking or cycling to your place of work or study instead of using a car, or engage in active play with your children or grandchildren. Doing activities that you enjoy and that are easy to include in your weekly routine is a great way to become more active.