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Therapeutic treatment for 26 diseases or physical exercise: 300 minutes a week is enough


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The value of physical exercise in the fight against depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and even cancer.

To what extent does jogging benefit humans? What have various studies shown? What diseases are treated? The vice chancellor and professor at the University of Thessaly (TEFAA) Yannis Theodorakisthrough various investigations, speaks to the Athenian – Macedonian News Agency about the exercise value, emphasizing that 300 minutes of exercise per week is ideal, as a treatment for 26 categories of diseases! From depression, anxiety, stress, schizophrenia, dementia, even cancer! “The most systematic and extensive research on the value of running, according to him, was published in 2019” and explains:

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“The results came from a set of studies, which recorded from 230,000 people their relationship with running and the chances of mortality from several categories of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Indeed, regular runners were 30% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, and 23% less likely to die from cancer, than non-runners. Research has shown that even running once a week is much better than people who don’t run at all. Surprisingly, higher frequency of exercise is not necessarily associated with more impressive health benefits.” The vice-chancellor and professor at the University of Thessaly, Yiannis Theodorakis, after stressing that the friends of the running movement are of course not satisfied with once a week exercise and they do well, then adds:

“I must emphasize that the World Health Organization tells us that adults should exercise – not necessarily jogging – at least 150 minutes a week of low or moderate intensity exercise. 300 minutes of exercise per week is ideal. And for children and teenagers, they must exercise 60 minutes a day and all days of the week.”

How good is all of this? He answers, again through relevant research:

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“Another great paper from 2015 tells us that exercise, there at 150 minutes a week, should be recommended as a medicine – of course complementary to the therapeutic treatment – in 26 categories of diseases. From depression, anxiety, stress, schizophrenia, dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, obesity, hyperlipidemia, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular, chronic lung disease, asthma, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. The same positions are formulated by other works that focus more on mental health issues. They have also documented that exercise is associated with increased life expectancy. Yes, people who exercise regularly live better and longer, by about 3 years.”

For regular runners, men and women who comfortably run marathons, don’t settle for 300 minutes of exercise per week but run more, he clarifies:

“They run from 5 to 10 hours a week, and those who run ultra-distance, run much more hours. We have no documented research and information whether this is bad or good. Personally, from a psychological point of view, I find it good, because in addition to the positive effects on health, systematic running and participation in long-distance roads have many other benefits. It is a philosophy of life, it is love, it is mental balance, it is an excellent mental practice, it is self-discipline, self-control, passion, an exploration of human limits, a path of inner search without external competition, a path of arduousness, thus without purpose. Those who run long distances do not run for an external reason nor are they particularly looking for applause, and posts on social networks, although this is not necessarily a bad thing. They try to achieve personal goals. They’re just trying to get better as runners and as people.” Speaking to APE-MPE, Mr. Theodorakis talks about small steps as a big shield, stressing: “Hypoactivity has a negative effect on the health, mental well-being and quality of life of people of all ages.”


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