Even moderate exercise is very healthy.

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Simple physical activity extends your life
By Jerry Brownstein
Just 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week reduces the risk of death from any cause by 28%, and the risk of heart disease by 20%. Those are the conclusions of the world’s largest study of physical activity, which analysed data from more than 130,000 people across 17 countries. At the start of the study, participants provided information about their lifestyle, medical history, and the physical activity they complete over a typical week. They were regularly followed-up for over seven years to record information about cardiovascular disease and death.

The results showed that 150 minutes per week of simple physical activity like doing household chores or walking to work, provided enough exercise to protect the heart and extend life. Being highly active was associated with even greater benefits as those who ran, went to the gym or even just walked briskly for 750 minutes each week reduced their risks by an additional 20%. Following this study, the World Health Organisation recommended that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity throughout the week, along with muscle strengthening exercises at least two days a week. 

James Rudd, senior lecturer in cardiovascular medicine at Cambridge University (UK) says, “Going to the gym is great, but even walking to work, or at lunch time can do wonders. The clear-cut results of this study reinforce the message that exercise truly is the best medicine at our disposal. If a drug company came up with a medicine as effective as exercise, they would have a billion dollar blockbuster on their hands and a Nobel prize in the post.”


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