Study says just walking may not improve fitness

Published on 9/28/2021 06:00

The study showed that a combination of walking and intense exercise helps gain stamina for daily chores, such as climbing stairs – (Credit: Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil)

All physical exercises are beneficial to the body. But if you are looking to strengthen your body so that you do not have problems performing daily activities, such as going up and down stairs, Famous Walk It may not be enough. Researchers in the US followed a routine of about 2,000 people for four years and found that moderate to vigorous exercise, such as running or swimming for more than 30 minutes, increases fitness three times more than taking more steps at the same time. low speed. The data was presented in the latest issue of the specialized European Heart Journal, and according to the authors of the article, they can encourage people to adopt more intense training routines, which improve physical performance and thus health.

“Although there is a large amount of evidence supporting health benefits from physical activity, we do not have accurate data on the type of exercise an individual needs to do to be more fit, especially in the general population, as opposed to athletes or individuals with Certain medical conditions. Our study was designed to fill this gap,” says Matthew Nayer, assistant professor at Boston University School of Medicine in the US, and lead author of the study.

The team evaluated data from participants in the Framingham Heart Study Initiative, a long-term scientific study of the cardiovascular system that began in the late 1940s. , in many cases,” Nayor details. The group was evaluated between 2016 and 2019, during which time they periodically underwent various medical examinations, especially cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPET), which help gauge their fitness more accurately.

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Analyzes showed that moderate to vigorous exercise sessions led to a significant improvement in fitness compared to light activities such as taking 10,000 steps throughout the day. “We were already expecting to find that more intense physical activity would result in better ‘peak exercise’ performance, i.e. the ability to perform more intense tasks, but we were surprised to see that these exercises were also more efficient than walking to prepare the body for lower-effort activities,” he said. explained.

Nayor explains that participants who logged more steps taken per day had better physical performance than others, demonstrating health gains from this less intense activity. But the study also showed that walking normally must be combined with intense or moderate physical exercise to generate results that are important to the body’s endurance.

“There is plenty of evidence from other studies that higher step counts are associated with a number of health benefits, which is particularly positive for older adults, who cannot put in the same amount of effort. However, if your goal is to improve your fitness level or slow the inevitable decline in endurance that occurs with age, performing at least a moderate strenuous activity is three times more efficient than simply walking at a relatively low pace.”, he asserts.

According to the researcher, the results can be used by the population in a beneficial way. “Determining what each of these usual physical activities can do for physical conditioning (…) can act as an incentive for people to be more active,” Nayer justifies.

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Luciano Lourenzo, GP at Santa Lucia Hospital, in Brasilia, who specializes in sports medicine, believes the data from the US study confirm recent findings regarding the benefits of more intense sports practices. We have some studies that have already shown us how these activities generate greater gains in muscle activity and cardiovascular health. These benefits ultimately give a more expressive resistance to the organism and to health as a whole,” he says.

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Your doctor reminds you that you should be able to perform moderate to vigorous activities. “It is not recommended that a person who is already sedentary get off the couch and start running intensely or swimming for more than half an hour. This can lead to harm, especially if she already has an injury or a more serious health problem. It is important to give this warning to avoid harm to health.” instead of gains.

Lourenço advises that the best solution is to gradually increase your physical activity routine. “The human body is a machine that adapts very quickly. You can take a person who is quite stable, and with proper training, you can change his body in six months. But everything must be done carefully and with the guidance of an expert. He is the one who will tell you what is best for your situation.”

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About the Author: Camelia Kirk

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