The Department of Health recommends that we do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week to stay healthy. Exercising has a lot of amazing benefits. It keeps you thin. It gives you energy. It makes you feel better. And oh – it strengthens your heart too. In a ten-year study, researchers found that brisk walking or jogging could cut the risk of heart disease.
Researchers from Denmark conducted a study to investigate the effects of exercising based on how much time is spent on it and at what rate of speed people exercised (specifically through jogging or walking). For 10 years, they followed more than 10,000 adults ages 21 to 98. The subjects filled out questionnaires every few years to provide details of how much they exercised during their leisure time.
Exercising and Metabolic Syndrome
The researchers also recorded how many among the participants had metabolic syndrome – a medical term used to refer to a range of health problems including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and risk of heart disease, stroke and other illnesses affecting the blood vessels. Another goal was to investigate whether there is a link between metabolic syndrome and exercise.
For every 100 women, 21 of them had metabolic syndrome at the beginning of the study. Meanwhile, 27 out of 100 men had the condition. The researchers found that metabolic syndrome was more common among those who walked or jogged slowly. Among the participants, 19 in 100 people who walked or jogged slowly for less than 2 hours every week had metabolic syndrome, as compared with 12 in 100 people who jogged faster or walked briskly.
However, they didn’t see a relationship between metabolic syndrome and how much time people spent on exercising. When it comes to the risk of metabolic syndrome, researchers found that there was no difference if people jogged or walked in 30 minutes or an hour every day.
It is to be noted that despite the decline in the number of people developing heart disease, it is still the number one killer in Britain. The study reminds us once again of the role of physical exercises in maintaining good health and keeping heart disease at bay.
Source of this article:
Hoegsbro Laursen A, Kristiansen OP, Marott JL, et al. Intensity versus duration of physical activity: implications for the metabolic syndrome. A prospective cohort study. BMJ Open. Published online 8 October 2012.