“Increasing physical activity can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, along with many other health benefits,” Gibbs said. Such benefits include improved sleep, lowered risk of certain cancers and boosted brain and bone health.
An analysis of 36 studies showed physically active people have a 21% lower risk of developing heart disease, according to the statement. They also have a 36% lower death risk from heart diseases compared to physically inactive people.
Last year, the World Health Organization updated its guidelines to recommend that adults between ages 18 to 64 should get “at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity.” This deviated from AHA’s recommendations of 150 minutes of weekly moderate-intensity aerobic activity.
Still, benefits can be seen even with a small amount of physical activity.
“Every little bit of activity is better than none,” Gibbs said. “Even small initial increases of 5 to 10 minutes a day can yield health benefits.”