Even 10 minutes of daily high-intensity physical activity could help some children reduce the risk of developing heart issues and metabolic diseases such as diabetes, according to a new study.
The research found that by replacing low-intensity activity with short periods of vigorous exercise could be beneficial for young overweight people who report a higher insulin level in the blood.
The international study was carried out by a researcher at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and it was published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Vigorous Physical Activity Better In Preventing Cardiometabolic Diseases
The research investigated data from 11,588 young people, who took part in 11 International Children's Accelerometry Database studies in European countries, the United States and Brazil.
The scientists were especially interested in the records that provided the kids's age, gender, level of physical activity and at least one biomarker. A biomarker is a measurable indicator of a medical condition, and the biomarkers in this study referred to cardiometabolic risks.
Among the biomarkers that most interested the researchers, weight circumference, diastolic and systolic blood pressure, cholesterol (both HDL and LDL), insulin, glucose, and triglycerides were the most important indicators of the kids's cardiometabolic states.
The relationship between biomarkers and vigorous physical activity was conducted while taking a wide range of factors into consideration, from age and gender, to sedentary time and duration and levels of exercise. The researchers found 32 significant associations out of a possible total number of 360. All these associations were connected to reduced insulin levels and waist circumference.
In the context of this study, the relationship between all the other biomarkers and performing high-intensity physical activity was inconsistent.
The results of this study point out that replacing large amounts of light physical exercise with small amounts of vigorous physical activity could have better long-term metabolic benefits than moderate physical activity.
"Substituting light physical activity with vigorous physical activity was inversely associated with waist circumference and insulin. However, vigorous physical activity was inconsistently related to the remaining biomarkers after controlling for time sedentary and medium physical activity," noted the study.
According to the researchers, further studies will focus on incorporating a series of additional variables that could also play an important role, such as data on dietary habits and genetic information. This direction of the study is important, as it could allow the researchers to establish a stronger correlation between different levels of exercise and their impact on cardiometabolic biomarkers among children.
Cardiometabolic Diseases Among Young People
According to data provided by the CDC, behavior has an important role in developing obesity among children.
"Behaviors that influence excess weight gain include eating high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages, not getting enough physical activity, sedentary activities such as watching television or other screen devices, medication use, and sleep routines," notes a CDC data sheet.
At the same time, being physically active and following a healthy diet can significantly reduce a child's risks of becoming obese. Cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes are associated with obesity, even among younger people.
Furthermore, it is recommended for children aged six and higher to do at least 60 minutes of physical exercise every day.