You do not need to spend hours in the gym to improve your body and your brain this is how long your training should last.

    Abdulaziz Sobh

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    Cardio might be the closest thing to a miracle drug we have, but doing so should not take a whole day.

    In contrast, the available evidence suggests that dedicating 30 to 45 minutes a day to exercises such as biking, swimming or brisk walking is the ideal way to obtain the maximum benefits for the health of your body and brain.

    These movements increase your heart rate and make you move and sweat in a way that seems to benefit our moods and muscles more than other workouts focused solely on lifting weights or stretching. To do them correctly, scientists have some advice that goes beyond simply registering at 30 minutes.

    Why cardio is so key to well-being
    A growing body of research suggests that when we commit to regular workouts that raise our heart rate and make us move and sweat for an extended period of time, the body and the brain go through magical things.
    We think more clearly, we feel better in general and we protect our brain against some of the cognitive deterioration that occurs with age.

    "Aerobic exercise ... has a unique ability to gloat and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counteract depression and dispel stress," wrote the authors of an article in the blog "Mind and Mood" of Harvard Medical School.

    In addition to the mental benefits, our muscles tone up, our hearts become stronger and more protected from the disease, and we can even be more flexible, depending on the exercise.

    Researchers are still not sure why this type of exercise offers such a significant boost to our brain and body, but some studies suggest that it has to do with increased blood flow, which provides our mind with fresh energy and oxygen.

    A recent study in older women who showed potential symptoms of dementia also found that aerobic exercise was related to an increase in the size of the hippocampus, an area of ​​the brain involved in learning and memory.

    Another reason may be related to the ability of cardio to help reduce levels of the body's natural stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, according to a recent study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science.

    Half an hour is where the magic happens

    All that is needed to begin seeing these benefits is approximately 30 minutes, according to several recent studies.
    A recent article analyzed the exercise habits of hundreds of breast cancer survivors who experienced symptoms such as "chemobrain," which involves memory loss and problems concentrating. The researchers found that just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise such as walking was associated with significantly better performance on cognitive tests.

    Another study published in May provided some additional support for that research: it found that in adults aged 60 to 88, walking for 30 minutes four days a week for 12 weeks seemed to strengthen connectivity in a region of the brain where weakened connections have related to memory loss.

    Similarly, a pilot study in people with severe depression found that only 30 minutes of treadmill walking for 10 consecutive days seemed to be "sufficient to produce a clinically relevant and statistically significant reduction in depression."

    Other research suggests that it might be better to do cardio for a few more minutes, but it does not take more than an hour.

    A study in the British Medical Journal found that in adults older than 50 years, the best results for the brain seemed to come from a routine that combined aerobic exercises with resistance training (ie, muscle strengthening exercises such as planks and push-ups) and lasted at least 45 minutes

    That means that to get the maximum benefits for your body and brain, you do not need to spend hours in the gym. Find a time window between 30 and 45 minutes that you can do each time you have the most energy, and commit to it a few times a week.