No Time to Hit the Gym? Try 30 Minutes of Walking or 2 Hours of Daily Chores to Stay Active

One in 12 deaths can be prevented with 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week, says a study.

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No Time to Hit the Gym? Try 30 Minutes of Walking or 2 Hours of Daily Chores to Stay Active
We have heard it several times before, and experts always remind us that to lead a healthy and fit life, one must engage in physical activities. Now, we don't really mean spending hours in the gym or taking part in extreme sports. You will be surprised to learn that spending even 30 minutes walking daily can help you a great deal. According to a study published in The Lancet, one in 12 deaths can be prevented with 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. The study tracked over 1.3 lakh people in 17 countries, including 24,000 in India. WHO recommends that adults aged 18-64 do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity through the week, as well as muscle strengthening exercises at least twice a week.

The researchers recorded information on cardiovascular disease and death for several years, and also checked whether the participants followed physical activity guidelines as recommended by the World Health Organization. During the study it was found that of those who met the guidelines (1.07 lakh), 3.8% developed cardiovascular disease, compared to 5.1% of those (23,000) who did not. Risk of mortality was lower for people met the guidelines - 4.2%, compared to 6.4%.

The findings suggest that if the entire population met these guidelines, it would prevent 8% of deaths (1 in 12) and 4.6% (1 in 20) of cardiovascular disease cases. If the entire population was highly active - 750 minutes of physical activity a week - 1 in 8 deaths, and 1 in 10 cases of cardiovascular disease, could be prevented.

The study showed that by exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, the risk of death from any cause is reduced by 28%, while the risk of heart disease is reduced by 20%, regardless of the type of physical activity. The benefits increased with increase in physical activity. For instance, people getting more than 750 minutes of brisk walking per week had an even lesser risk of death. The researchers also stated that any activity is good for people to meet the current guideline of 150 minutes a week, to raise the heart rate. Even daily chores like washing clothes, mopping, gardening and cleaning can help in keeping the body active.



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