One hour of activity a day can keep the doctor at bay
Just before this year’s Olympic Games in Rio, a study made some recommendations for non-professional athletes, specifically those of us who work in offices. So now the games have ended, it’s time to get up, get out and get fit!
The study, published in the Lancet warns of the dangers of sitting down for eight or more hours a day. The dangers associated with inactivity include; heart disease, some cancers and diabetes – and in total is linked to approximately 5.3 million deaths globally annually, compared with 5.1 million linked to smoking.
So, should you exercise every day?
This study says yes. They believe the negative effects of 8 hours’ inactivity can be offset by moderately exercising for one hour each day.
And if an hour sounds like a lot to you, don’t worry – it can be split up. Lead author Prof Ulf Ekelund, from the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences and Cambridge University, said: “You don’t need to do sport, you don’t need to go to the gym. It’s OK doing some brisk walking, maybe in the morning, during lunchtime, after dinner in the evening. You can split it up over the day, but you need to do at least one hour.”
He also recommends to “Take a five-minute break every hour, go to the next office, go upstairs to the coffee machine, go to the printer.” He added: “Build physical activity into your everyday life.”
The paper took data from 16 previous studies, mainly involving people over 45 years old from the USA, western Europe and Australia. They discovered that one hour of “moderate intensity” exercise, such as walking at 5.6 km/h or cycling for pleasure at 16 km/h, was enough to offset the ill effects of sitting for long periods.
Although the study is only aimed at those who sit down for more than eight hours a day, it may be enough for the NHS to reconsider their recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.
Don’t forget your diet
As well as getting enough exercise, it is also extremely important to monitor what you eat. The report states one of the dangers of sitting down to watch TV is that it encourages consumption of unhealthy snacks.
Here at Mr Protein, we advocate the health benefits of both cutting down on gluten and cutting it out completely. One of the reasons for this is by cutting out gluten, you automatically cut out a lot of ‘junk food options’. Gluten-based snacks are also prone to bloating and causing lethargy – encouraging further inactivity.
If this study has sparked you to do more exercise or join a gym, then consider supplementing your new exercise programme with a delicious gluten free protein powder. Protein powder helps support, build and repair your muscles, which is really beneficial when starting a new exercise regime.