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Today is World Physical Activity Day

Today is World Physical Activity Day

World Physical Activity Day | April 6

Physical activity can be a good “medicine” to support good immunity and help fight fat buildup and inflammation

The study reveals that improving the diversity and richness of the intestinal microbiota is more related to time than to the intensity of physical activity. At least two and a half hours of light to moderate activity per week may be enough to control weight and diabetes, or gain greater defenses against inflammation.

A study conducted by researchers from Canada, Germany and Austria suggests that the more time you devote to physical activity, the better the health and diversity of your intestinal microorganisms (flora). You do not need to participate in a marathon or do intense physical exercise. All you need to do is move for up to five hours a week (at least two and a half hours) for greater health and well-being.

Previous investigations have already revealed that great athletes have a different microbiome compared to more sedentary people. What this study sought to discover was the health effect of more moderate physical activity in lean and overweight people, but not obese people.

To reach the results, the researchers recruited 350 men and women between the ages of 38 and 65 and divided them into two groups: one consisting of people of normal weight and the other consisting of people who were overweight. They were then asked what type of physical activity they did daily: light (walking, washing dishes or cooking), moderate (brisk walking, gardening, cycling, etc.) or intense (weight lifting, running, weight training, basketball, soccer, etc. ). .). Finally, they recorded the hours devoted to activities and analyzed the relevant gut microbiota.

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More expressive benefits for thin people

The results showed that the improvement in the diversity and richness of microorganisms is related to the number of hours devoted to physical activity more than its intensity. However, only in people of normal weight were changes in bacterial composition visible. In this group, the researchers found more Actinobacteria, a group of bacteria known for their cardio-metabolic benefits, which help reduce cholesterol. Further production of acetate has also been discovered, a short-chain fatty acid that, in addition to being a source of energy for cells, interacts with the immune system and is involved in communication between the gut and the brain. They found greater numbers of Collinsella bacteria, bacteria from the Actinobacteria family, which protect against intestinal permeability and produce butyrate, another short-chain fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties.

In women, both thin and overweight, it has been observed that the greater the grip force (hand strength), the more their microbiota contains Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, a bacteria known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

What the World Health Organization recommends

Physical activity is essential for physical and mental health, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In the Global Action Plan to Promote Physical Activity 2018-2030, the World Health Organization states that a sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for deaths associated with non-communicable diseases. Regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight and improve muscular capacity, cardiorespiratory capacity, bone health and functional abilities. It can also reduce the risk of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, various types of cancer, and depression, as well as the risk of falls and fractures.

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The World Health Organization defines physical activity as “any physical movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires the expenditure of energy,” whether undertaken in the context of work, during leisure time, or while travelling. To get the benefits, the World Health Organization recommends at least 2:30 to 5:00 hours of exercise per week for “moderate-intensity” activity, or 1:15 to 2:30 for “continuous-intensity” activity. The ideal is a combination of the two to compensate for the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

Facts and figures

One in four adults around the world does not engage in physical activity at the globally recommended levels.

– People who do not engage in sufficient physical activity are 20% to 30% more likely to die than those who engage in sufficient physical activity.

– More than 80% of teenagers around the world do not engage in sufficient physical activity.

Physical activity improves thinking and learning skills.

Physical activity ensures healthy growth and development among young people.

Image – Highly realistic Alouette in clay, by sculptor Benjamin Victor