With the beginning of the year and the establishment of new challenges and objectives to meet, gyms fill their registrations with new subscribers in search of physical activity. But how much time of exercise is necessary to really obtain benefits for our health?
Dr. Valentín Fuster, General Director of the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) of Madrid and President of Mount Sinai Heart and chief physician of the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, comments in an interview with the Mutua Madrileña Foundation, the benefits of practicing twenty minutes a day on an Indoor bile, five days a week to be fit. Dr. Fuster claims to have an Indoor bile at his home in New York and deeply believes in physical exercise as one of the keys to living better and aging healthily.
Today’s society is characterized by a high level of sedentary lifestyle, so being aware of the necessary daily activity time to minimize the harmful effects that it involves might help to start, continue and maintain the activity practice; as long as the person has that time a day for this dedication, and the person wants to do it.
A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine agrees that 22 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity can counteract the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle and reduce the association of a sedentary lifestyle with various diseases.
Types of exercises and their benefits
The study, based on data from more than 12,000 participants over 50 years of age from Norway, Sweden and the United States, divides the types of exercises into two levels:
- Walk fast
- Swim at a constant pace
- Ride a bike
- Practice yoga at a moderate pace
- Running at high speed
- Play soccer or basketball intensely
- Perform weight lifting exercises
- Mountain biking on demanding terrain
Keys to a healthy life
Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of mortality in Spain, with a sedentary lifestyle being a crucial factor in their development; with its lack of regular physical activity, it contributes significantly to the increase in these diseases. Problems such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes may be direct consequences of the lack of exercise and considerably increase the risk of heart disease.
We encourage you to read our blog article on Healthy lifestyle habits and cancer, in which we discuss this topic and write about healthy lifestyle habits, before, during and after cancer. Unhealthy habits such as poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking play a significant role on our health; it is estimated that approximately one third of cancer deaths in the population are related to these risk factors.
Therefore, one of the goals for 2024 may be to adopt a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular physical activity of at least 20 minutes a day, and from there, establish a balanced diet, avoid harmful habits and take care of our overall health.