Modern day lifestyle and stress has a huge negative impact on our health. So, experts from the healthcare industry suggest that we include regular exercises into our routine to counter these negative effects. But, you don’t have to spend hours in the gym. New studies have shown that dedicating just a few minutes every day for physical exercises can ensure overall good health. Read on to find out how much exercise is actually required for you to stay healthy.
How Long Should You Ideally Exercise?
A study that was conducted on people belonging to 17 different countries from various social strata found that higher recreational and non-recreational physical activity was associated with a lower risk of mortality and cardiovascular diseases. The study also concluded that just 150 minutes of exercise per week was associated with a graded reduction in mortality.1 This amounts to just over 20 minutes of exercise a day or 30 minutes of exercise for five days a week.
How Exercise Benefits Physical And Mental Health
There is no doubt that exercises benefit both physical and mental health among people of all ages, races, and sexes. Studies show that physically active adults are at lower risk for depression and declines in cognitive function as they get older. Even physically active children and teens display fewer symptoms of depression than their peers. Physical activity also reduces your risk for many diseases, such as coronary heart disease (CHD), diabetes, and cancer, and is beneficial for your heart and lungs.3
Research shows that exercise can improve mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and improvs self-esteem and cognitive function. It also alleviates symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal and helps patients with schizophrenia as they are vulnerable to obesity associated with antipsychotic medications.4 Many studies have found that exercise and physical activity can prevent or delay the onset of different mental disorders and that it has therapeutic benefits.5
Domestic Chores Replace Exercise?
Exercise does not necessarily mean spending hours on the treadmill or hitting the gym twice a day. Even regular household chores amount to physical activity and can burn calories. However, they cannot replace exercises. Physical activities or exercises that get your heart-pumping can have immense stress-reducing benefits.
During exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins (a hormonal compound made by the body in response to pain or extreme physical exertion), which interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your sensation of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.
So, it is crucial that you move around as much as possible and avoid sitting constantly for extended durations. For instance, cycle to the supermarket instead of driving, or use the stairs instead of the elevator. Engaging in regular heart-pumping, muscle-flexing exercise offers you numerous health benefits.
Exercises Help You Connect Socially
Gymming sessions, yoga classes, running groups, cycling communities, and other forms of exercise routines are not just meant to sweat it out. You get to meet like-minded people and can forge new relationships. Exercise gives you an opportunity for a social outlet and a sense of community.
Since humans are social animals, being with people is crucial as it often brings happiness. From children to adults, everyone can benefit from involving in group games and activities. So, even if it is just for a little over 20 minutes, it can add years to your life.
|↑1||Lear, Scott A., Weihong Hu, Sumathy Rangarajan, Danijela Gasevic, Darryl Leong, Romaina Iqbal, Amparo Casanova et al. “The effect of physical activity on mortality and cardiovascular disease in 130 000 people from 17 high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries: the PURE study.” The Lancet (2017).|
|↑2||Benefits of Physical Activity. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 2016.|
|↑3||Benefits of Physical Activity.
|↑4||Sharma, Ashish, Vishal Madaan, and Frederick D. Petty. “Exercise for mental health.” Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry 8, no. 2 (2006): 106.|
|↑5||Zschucke, Elisabeth, Katharina Gaudlitz, and Andreas Ströhle. “Exercise and physical activity in mental disorders: clinical and experimental evidence.” Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 46, no. Suppl 1 (2013): S12.|