How Much You Exercise Can Affect Your Risk Of Flu And Pneumonia, Study Shows | Cnn


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It’s time to add to your list of reasons to exercise: Get active it could help prevent the risk of death from flu and pneumonia, according to new research.


Complying with physical activity guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity reduces the risk of death from flu and pneumonia by 48%, according to a study published Tuesday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity and two or more days of moderate muscle-strengthening activity per week, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The study was based on survey data of more than 570,000 people in the US National Health Interview Survey between 1998 and 2018. People were asked about their physical activity habits and were divided into groups based on how satisfied they were. the recommended amount of exercise, according to the study.

On average, respondents were monitored for nine years after the initial survey. There were 1,516 deaths from flu or pneumonia during that time.

Meeting both the recommendations for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity reduced the risk associated with death from the flu or pneumonia by nearly half, but meeting just the aerobic activity goal alone was associated with a 36% lower risk, according to the study. %.


Both influenza and pneumonia are among the leading causes of death in the United States and around the world, so the findings are significant, said study lead author Dr. Activity and obesity.

Readers can appreciate the importance of influenza and pneumococcal vaccination. This study may encourage them that physical activity can be another powerful way to protect against the flu and death from pneumonia, she said.

The findings make sense given existing knowledge, and the benefits may extend to other conditions, said Dr. Robert Sallis, Director of Sports Medicine Scholarship at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center and Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine in California. He was not involved in the study.

This study is also consistent with the various studies showing that regular exercise dramatically reduced the risk of COVID-19-related death in similar ways, Sallis said in an email.

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Even a little exercise has been shown to protect against death from the flu and pneumonia, according to the study.

But even if you fall short of the recommended amount, some activities may still provide more protection than none, according to the study.

We also found that any level of aerobic physical activity, even at amounts below the recommended level, reduced the risk of death from the flu and pneumonia, compared with no aerobic activity at all, Webber said.

Get 10 149 minutes a week of aerobic physical activity was associated with a 21 percent reduction in the risk of death from flu and pneumonia, the study showed.

Our general advice for everyone, regardless of age or perceived fitness level, is to move more and sit less, Webber said in an email. Readers who do not engage in any physical activity should be encouraged that it is better than none.

That said, the study did show that no additional benefit was seen for people who did more than 600 minutes a week of aerobic activity.

And in the case of muscle strengthening, there is too much, the study has shown.

Achieving the goal of two or more sessions significantly reduced the risk of mortality, but achieving seven or more sessions was associated with a 41 percent increased risk of death from flu or pneumonia, the study showed.

However, this was an observational study, the researchers noted, meaning the study can’t make any claims about what causes or prevents the deaths and only what factors were associated with a level of risk.

The increased risk could be related to a number of factors, including the cardiovascular impacts of frequent muscle-strengthening activities or inaccurate survey responses, the study says.

While there are limitations to the design, researchers often rely on these studies when it’s impossible to randomize people into different lifestyles, Sallis said.

Aerobic activity, or cardio, as it’s often called, doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym on a regular basis, the study says. This type of movement is anything that stimulates your heart rate and sweat glands, including brisk walking, swimming, biking, running, or climbing stairs.

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

A megastudy released in December 2021 showed that the best workout plans include planning when you exercise, getting reminders, offering incentives, and discouraging you from missing more than one planned workout in a row.

Whether people are hoping to increase their physical activity or change their health behaviors, there are low-cost behavioral insights that can be built into programs to help them achieve greater success, said study lead author Katy Milkman, the James G. Dinan professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and author of How to Change: The Science of Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want To Be.

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

Fitting in for ten minutes of exercise every day is a lot easier than you think. Consider how quickly ten minutes go by when you’re scrolling through social media or watching your favorite TV show, Santa said in an email. It’s not a large investment of time, but it can offer great health benefits.

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