SYDNEY, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Exercising vigorously for just one or two days per week will make you 30 percent less likely to develop cancer and cardiovascular disease, researchers at the University of Sydney have found.
Published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine on Tuesday, the researchers suggest that less frequent bouts of activity, which might fit more easily into a busy lifestyle, offer significant health benefits, even in the obese and those with medical risk factors.
"It's very encouraging news that being physically active on just one or two occasions per week is associated with a lower risk of death, even among people who do some activity but don't quite meet recommended exercise levels," the study's senior author, University of Sydney associate professor of medicine Emmanuel Stamatakis said in a statement.
"However, for optimal health benefits from physical activity it is always advisable to meet and exceed the physical activity recommendations."
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, to help lower risks of disease and control weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Of the 63,000 participants who took part in the USYD study, those who undertook physical activity most regularly and above the recommended guidelines still had the least amount of risk associated with developing these kinds of diseases.
But, those who exercised intensely just one-two times per week had a significantly lower risk than those who did not exercise.
Research is yet to establish how the frequency and total weekly dose of activity might best be combined to achieve health benefits.