It’s common knowledge that exercise can help keep you healthy, but exactly how much exercise is less clear.
Examining 174 studies looking at the effect of exercise on several conditions, researchers found that those who had the most physical activity each week were least likely to develop these conditions–but only if they spent over 3,000 metabolic equivalent (MET) minutes exercising each week, far more than the 600 that the WHO recommends.
According to this, people should exercise more to keep healthy. However, MET minutes are not equal to actual minutes, but are rather calculated based on the intensity of the exercise. Mixing walking, running, and climbing stairs for an hour or two each day can help increase your MET minutes to the levels recommended by the study, and future studies should focus more on total weekly activity to get a better sense of how exercise can keep you healthy.
- An active lifestyle can protect against the risk of breast and bowel diseases
- The risk of getting one of the five most common diseases can be mitigated against with an active lifestyle
- The risk of getting diabetes or heart disease may be decreased with regular, healthy physical activity
“There’s a strong connection between physical activity and the risk of five common diseases, according to a study published today in The BMJ. The catch? To really reap the benefits, we need to move much more than global health experts currently recommend.”
How Much Exercise Do You Really Need to Protect Against Disease?
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