Sports Medicine: 10 minutes of brisk walking is good for you

Brisk walking to get in shape for the summer: yes, but not only. Daily practice significantly reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes and certain forms of cancer

According to research, daily exercise reduces the risk of heart disease by 17% and the risk of cancer by 7%.

And we are not talking about a lot of time invested: 75 minutes a week is enough

Brisk walking: research findings published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine

More exercise offered even greater protection.

Exercising for 150 minutes per week reduced the chance of premature death from any cause by 16%.

The exercise intensity for the study was equivalent to brisk walking.

“We know that physical activity, such as walking or cycling, is good for you, especially if you feel it increases your heart rate.

But what we found is that there are substantial benefits to heart health and reduce cancer risk even if you can manage just 10 minutes a day,” said researcher James Woodcock, PhD, in a note.

The researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK, who conducted the study, sought to understand how much exercise was needed to have a significant health benefit.

They brought together data from 94 previous studies on the subject and analysed the combined data for over 30 million participants.

Sometimes, two research studies on the same topic offer conflicting advice, the researchers noted.

By combining such a large number of studies, the certainty of the statistical analysis is improved because there is more data, so the larger study can overcome the conflicting results of smaller studies.

In this latest analysis, the researchers found that at least 75 minutes of weekly exercise particularly protected against specific cancers, reducing the risk of head and neck cancer, myeloid leukaemia, myeloma and gastric cardia from 14% to 26%.

They also calculated that if all study participants exercised at least 150 minutes per week, approximately 1 in 6 early deaths or 1 in 10 deaths could be prevented with only 75 minutes per week.

Bibliographic references

University of Cambridge: “Daily 11 minute brisk walk enough to reduce risk of early death.”

British Journal of Sports Medicine: “Non-occupational physical activity and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and mortality outcomes: a dose-response meta-analysis of large prospective studies.”

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