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Exercising more vigorously daily can be the key to increased longevity. Alon Skuy/The Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images
  • Two minutes bursts of vigorous physical activity—totalling 15 minutes per week – are associated with a reduced risk of death, cancerand heart diseaseaccording to new research.
  • The study shows that relatively small amounts of weekly vigorous physical activity can have health benefits.
  • Experts describe how incorporating short bursts of exercise into your daily routine can lead to long-lasting effects. health outcomes.

Research shows that regular exercise reduces the risk of developing several long-term (chronic) diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. However, new research, published in the European journal of the heartfocuses on the intensity and duration of exercise needed for people to see health benefits.

For their study, the researchers recruited 71,893 adults with no signs of cardiovascular disease or cancer. Participants were selected from the UK Biobank study, a prospective cohort of participants aged 40-69.

The researchers analyzed the associations between the amount and frequency of vigorous physical activity with death (all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer) and the incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

To understand the difference between moderate physical activity and vigorous physical activitythe researchers defined moderate physical activity as exercise that noticeably increases heart rate but doesn’t necessarily leave people out of breath.

However, vigorous physical activity will likely cause an increase in heart rate, and people will often need to pause to breathe when speaking. Examples of vigorous physical activity include sprints, high intensity interval training (HIIT), swimming, or cycling at fast speeds.

The researchers found that the risk of all of the adverse effects studied was reduced as people increased the amount and frequency of their participation in vigorous physical activity.

For example, participants who did no vigorous physical activity had a 4% risk of dying within five years. This risk was halved to 2% with less than 10 minutes of vigorous activity weekly and was halved to a 1% risk if people did 60 minutes or more.

Participants were given wearable devices to monitor their physical activity.

The device made it possible to classify the intensity of physical activity into:

  • vigorous physical activity
  • moderate-intensity physical activity
  • low intensity physical activity

Medical News Today lead author interviewed Dr Matthew Ahmadipostdoctoral researcher at the University of Sydney.

“This is one of the greatest device-based wearables [studies] in the world and the first to assess the health benefits of vigorous physical activity,” said Dr Ahmadi.

“We found that 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week can reduce all-cause mortality and cancer risk by 15%, and 20 minutes per week can reduce the risk of heart disease by 40%. With additional health benefits up to about 50-60 minutes per week.
— Dr. Matthew Ahmadi

Dr. Ahmadi explained some other key findings from this research at DTM:

“[Our] results show that lower amounts of weekly vigorous physical activity were associated with health benefits against mortality, cancer and heart disease compared to research data of which more than 90% is based on self-reported data.

He said that by using wearable devices to track participants’ physical activity levels, they were able to get more objective and accurate measurements.

“These factors contributed to the novelty of our findings that contrast with self-reported research evidence,” he added.

Dr. Ahmadi said their findings “provide important information for clinicians in the treatment of patients at high risk for chronic disease and for public health messaging to the general public. The results will also provide important evidence in the next version of physical activity guidelines from the US, UK and WHO.

“Overall, we found that much shorter durations of vigorous physical activity were needed to reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality. Therefore, any physical activity that a person engages in provides the opportunity to engage in physical activity vigorously, if she can do it at a faster pace or at a higher intensity for short periods.

— Dr. Matthew Ahmadi

Doing more intense activities for short durations may also be easier to fit into daily routines.

“This can be particularly important for people who don’t have the time or don’t want to go to a gym or do ‘traditional’ exercise,” Dr Ahmadi added.

mike jamesspecialist physiotherapist and sports scientist nicknamed the “endurance physio”, and consulting partner of INCUS performancewho was not involved in the study, also spoke to MNT.

James told MNT that such studies are helpful in highlighting the benefits of various types of exercise, both long-term and for general well-being.

The biggest takeaway is that people should feel liberated that there is no one-size-fits-all or one-size-fits-all path to achieving the health benefits of exercise,” he said. -he declares.

“For people who already exercise, it’s great and they should keep doing it. But for people who can’t get to a gym, they can also reap the benefits of being active. vigorous physical activity for health by performing their daily activities at a faster pace, even if only for short periods of time, such as gardening or doing household chores at a somewhat higher intensity for short periods of time, or walking briskly interspersed with a comfortable walking pace when walking during the day.
— Mike James, Specialty Physiotherapist

James had the following recommendations for people interested in starting higher intensity exercise:

“It may be about gradually increasing the intensity over time and certainly not starting it initially as a means of physical training. For many, a low-level, less intense plan that progresses to this type of exercise may be a smart way to start before moving on to this one. For others, it could be an alternative type of exercise to use when life gets tough to incorporate exercise, work trips, school vacations, etc.

He also warned people to consult a health and/or fitness professional before jumping in and adding a new or different type of exercise program to their routines.

When considering how much exercise time is enough, Dr. Ahmadi noted that the study showed there may be an optimum, revealing DTM that “over any given week, this will allow them to accumulate that ‘sweet spot’ of 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week or a minimum of 15-20 minutes per week”.

James noted that vigorous physical activity may not be for everyone.

“What we need to be careful and aware of is that even short bursts of intense and vigorous activity may not be immediately suitable for many depending on their current activity, physical condition, health status or their injury history,” James said.

James also pointed out that for such activities to become habits, all fitness and exercise plans require commitment and adherence over a period of time, adding that “anything that can reduce the barriers to that can to be positive”.