So concludes a study, which has investigated what happens when we stop training.
That exercising is good for your health is not something new; sedentary life is related to diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular problems and different types of cancer. That’s why the World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. Following this advice will help us stay healthy both in the short and long term. Even if we hang up the shoes, we will continue to benefit much later, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
Benefits of exercise
The research, carried out by experts from Duke University, in the United States, between 1998 and 2003, analyzes the effects of training periods of eight months. To do this, they divided the sedentary people into different groups: one of control and three others with different intensities in the exercises they had to perform. Before starting, the scientists recorded different values, such as the size of their waists. And ten years after finishing the training, they did a follow-up that revealed a very interesting fact.
The researchers found that the positive effects on the participants’ health continued to be maintained, although there were variations according to the intensity of the training. “The individuals, who before the study had sedentary lives, showed differences in their cardiorespiratory capabilities and cardiometabolic parameters,” the study notes. For example, individuals in the control group and the low intensity group had experienced a 10.5% reduction in the VO2 peak, which is the amount of oxygen the body uses per unit of time and, as explained to BUENAVIDA María Jesús Núñez, medical director of Healthing, serves to “transform chemical energy into mechanics, taking advantage of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins to perform muscle contraction.” Participants in groups with a more vigorous level of exercise only experienced a decrease of 4.7%.
In addition, unlike the control group, the people who followed the training had a lower growth of waist circumference, which is a “very good criterion to determine the amount of visceral fat a person has,” as explained to BUENAVIDA. Susana Monereo, dietitian and member of the Board of Directors of the Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity (SEEDO). Those who were part of the moderate intensity group also had lower fasting insulin levels and lower blood pressure, after ten years.
In short, exercise is good for our health both short and long term.