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It’s time to add to your list of reasons to work out: being active New research suggests it may help prevent death from the flu and pneumonia.

Meeting exercise guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity reduces the risk of death from influenza and pneumonia by 48%. The study was published Tuesday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise and two or more moderate muscle-strengthening activities per week. Physical activity guidelines for Americans Issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The study was conducted in It is based on data from a survey of more than 570,000 people conducted by the US National Health Interview Survey between 1998 and 2018. People were asked about their physical activity habits, and they were divided into groups according to which they met the recommended amount of physical activity. , according to the study.

On average, the respondents were followed up for nine years after the first survey. During that time, 1,516 people died from the flu or pneumonia.

Meeting both recommendations for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity halved the risk of dying from the flu or pneumonia, but meeting only aerobic activity targets was associated with a 36% lower risk, the study found.

Both influenza and pneumonia are leading causes of death in the United States and around the world, so the consequences are significant, said lead study author Dr. Bryant Weber of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Center for Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity.

“Readers may recognize the importance of influenza and pneumonia vaccinations. This study may encourage them to consider physical activity as another powerful tool to prevent death from influenza and pneumonia, he said.

Dr. Robert Salis, director of the sports medicine fellowship at Kaiser Permanente Fontana, said the results make sense in light of current knowledge. Medical Center, and at Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine Clinical Professor of Family Medicine in California. He did not participate in the study.

“This study is similar to other studies Regular exercise significantly reduces the risk Likewise, deaths related to Covid-19,” Salis said in an email.

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Even a little exercise can help prevent death from the flu and pneumonia, the study found.

But even if you don’t reach the recommended amount, some activities may still offer more protection than anything else, the study says.

“We also found that any amount of aerobic exercise, even below the recommended level, reduced the risk of death from influenza and pneumonia compared to no aerobic activity at all,” Weber said.

Finding 10 149 minutes of aerobic exercise per week reduces the risk of dying from colds and pneumonia by 21%, the study found.

“Our general advice for everyone — regardless of age or fitness level — is to ‘move more and sit less,'” Weber said in an email. “Readers who do no exercise should be encouraged that doing nothing is better than none.

Meanwhile, no additional benefit was seen for those who did more than 600 minutes of aerobic activity per week, the study found.

And in muscle strengthening, there is a lot more, the study indicated.

Meeting the target of two or more sessions significantly reduced the risk of death, but achieving seven or more sessions was associated with a 41% lower risk of dying from the flu or pneumonia, the study found.

However, the researchers noted that this was an observational study, which means the study can’t make claims about what caused or prevented the deaths — what factors were associated with risk levels, they said.

The increased risk may be related to a variety of factors, including the cardiovascular effects of frequent muscle-strengthening activity or incorrect responses to the survey.

Although there are limitations in the design, researchers often rely on these studies when it is not possible to classify people into different lifestyles, Salis said.

Aerobic activity — or cardio, as it’s often called — doesn’t mean getting yourself to the gym regularly, the study says. This type of activity is anything that gets your heart rate up and your sweat glands pumping, including brisk walking, swimming, biking, running, or stair climbing.

Exercises like weight lifting, squats, lunges or heavy gardening can count as your muscle-strengthening activities, the study added.

A mega study was published in December 2021 He found that the best exercise programs include planning, getting reminders, giving incentives, and missing more than one scheduled workout in a row.

“If people are hoping to increase their physical activity or change their health behaviors, there are very inexpensive behavioral insights that can be built into programs to help them be more successful,” said study leader Kathy Milkman, James G. Dinan is a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the “How to Change: The Science of Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.”

You can start small, says Dana Santas, a CNN fitness contributor and mind-body coach for professional athletes. 2022 CNN article.

“Exercising for ten minutes every day is easier than people think. Think how quickly ten minutes goes by when you’re mindlessly scrolling through social media or watching your favorite TV show,” Santas said via email. :”

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