Benefits of Just 10 Minutes of Exercise Per Day: New Study Finds Reductions in Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Risk
For optimal physical health, regular exercise is important no matter your age. A new study from the University of Cambridge found that even if you can only manage 10 minutes of exercise per day, there are substantial benefits to your heart health and reducing your risk of cancer.
The authors of the study conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 196 studies, covering over 30 million participants. They explored the association between physical activity levels and risk of death, as well as the risk of specific conditions like heart disease, stroke, leukemia and colon cancer.
The study found that if everyone managed at least 75 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, around 10% of early deaths could be prevented, as well as 3% of all cancer cases and 5% of cardiovascular disease.
Dr Soren Brage, corresponding author of the study, said: “If you are someone who finds the idea of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week a bit daunting, then our findings should be good news. Doing some physical activity is better than doing none. This is also a good starting position – if you find that 75 minutes a week is manageable, then you could try stepping it up gradually to the full recommended amount.”
The study also found that increasing physical activity by 20 minutes a day was associated with reductions in hospitalization for nine conditions, ranging from 3.8 percent for colon polyps to 23 percent for diabetes.
According to Professor James Woodcock of the MRC Epidemiology Unit, even a brief 10-minute period of physical activity like walking or cycling may be beneficial to heart health and the prevention of cancer. He noted that raising your heart rate is particularly advantageous.
In addition, a separate study from Queen’s University Belfast suggests that an afternoon workout may be more effective for burning fat. Mice that exercised in the late morning experienced twice as much fat breakdown compared to those that exercised in the late evening.
Therefore, physical activity at whatever time of day fits your lifestyle is recommended. Exercise doesn’t have to involve sports or running – it can be as simple as replacing some habits, like opting to walk or cycle to work instead of driving. Incorporating enjoyable activities into your regular routine is a wonderful way to increase your physical activity.
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