Friday, June 15, 2007

Every Step Counts!

Even Small Amounts of Exercise Are Beneficial

May 17, 2007 — by by Sue Hughes - Even small amounts of physical activity — approximately 75 minutes per week — can improve cardiorespiratory fitness levels of sedentary overweight individuals, a study shows.

While this level of exercise is lower than that currently recommended to produce weight loss, the current findings may be used to encourage those people who do not exercise at present to start doing some form of physical activity, the authors advise.

The study, published in the May 16 issue of JAMA, was conducted by a team led by Timothy S. Church, MD, MPH, PhD, from the Louisiana State University System in Baton Rouge.
The authors point out that improvements in fitness are associated with a reduction in the risk for cardiovascular disease and death, and that, as physical activity is the main determinant of fitness in adults, continuing to refine efficient, safe, and acceptable exercise regimens is of substantial public health importance. Whereas the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Development Panel recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week, the authors note that recent reports suggest that 60 minutes of exercise each day may be necessary to prevent weight gain. But they add that the effect of much lower amounts of exercise has not been well studied.

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