Have you been avoiding exercise regularly? Then, you should known that just a few days of physical inactivity may damage the blood vessels in your legs. A latest study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology explains that the vascular dysfunction induced by five days of inactivity requires more than one day of returning to physical activity and taking at least 10,000 steps a day to improve.
According to the researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, when someone transitions from high daily physical activity - 10,000 or more steps per day - to low daily physical activity, less than 5,000 steps per day, it may lead to a decrease in the function of the inner lining of blood vessels in the legs which may further trigger vascular dysfunction which can have prolonged effects.
Paul Fadel, Associate Professor of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology, and John Thyfault, Associate Professor of Nutrition and exercise physiology have been analyzing inactivity and glycemic control and also how it affects blood flow and vascular function through the body.
"We know the negative consequences from not engaging in physical activity can be reversed. There is much data to indicate that at any stage of a disease, and at any time in your life, you can get active and prolong your life. However, we found that skipping just five days of physical activity causes damage to blood vessels in the legs that can take a prolonged period of time to repair. The impairment we saw in just five days was quite striking. It shows just how susceptible the vascular system is to physical inactivity," Fadel said.
"These studies are proof we need to get people to understand their activity every day plays a role in their health, and that their health is not simply a matter of body weight and how they look in the mirror," concluded John Thyfault.
One of the best ways to stay active is by ditching the public mode of transport and walk whenever possible. Our jam-packed schedules may not leave us with much time to indulge in a dedicated fitness programme, in that case, taking a walk to the nearby store or walking back from college or work may help one break the spell of inactivity. Health experts all across the globe have vouched for the fact that walking 10,000 steps in a day or for 30 minutes - coupled with a balanced diet - can help one stay fit.
Inputs from PTI and IANS