Lack of time is no longer an impediment to maintaining a healthy life. According to a study from the University of Sydney and published in the journal Nature Medicine, small bursts of just one minute of intense exercise during daily routines, such as cleaning the house, walking or playing with a pet, can significantly reduce the risk of dying from cancer or heart disease in the most sedentary people.
“This is the first study with wearables focused specifically on the effects on health of physical activity that is carried out as part of daily life,” explained Dr. Emmanuel Stamatakis, one of the authors of the research, in an interview with EL PAÍS The scientist stressed the importance of investigating how people who do not exercise regularly can find benefits by including physical activity in their daily tasks and routines More than 70 percent of middle-aged people around the world do not get enough exercise.
30 weekly minutes of exercise are beneficial
The researchers compared data from more than 25,000 “non-sports” people in the UK over a seven-year period. They divided the participants into two groups: those who really barely moved and those who did at least brief activity, but intense, such as running to catch the bus, climbing stairs or taking care of household chores.
The supermarket could replace the gym.
Even if these types of brief activities lasted only a minute or two, their benefits were similar to those of long-duration exercise. The study showed that just four to six minutes of vigorous exercise a day, spread over three sessions, could reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by up to 49 percent and the risk of dying from another cause by up to 40 percent.
every step counts
Although the evidence is not sufficient to show that short bouts of exercise directly lead to better health outcomes, it does suggest a relationship. More research is needed, but the study results suggest that including short bursts of exercise in everyday life may be a useful strategy for improving health.
“There are many everyday activities that you can do that increase your heart rate for a minute or more,” Emmanuel Stamatakis said in a news release.
Being physically active is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind fit, and every little step counts. Both cardio and strength training have been shown to promote good health.
“To increase the intensity of your daily activities, you don’t need time, preparation, gym membership or special skills. It’s just a matter of picking up the pace while walking or doing chores with a little more stamina,” he concludes. Stamatakis.
Edited by Isabella Escobedo