Drinking too much water may cause potentially fatal water intoxication, claims a new study which has for the first time identified the mechanism that regulates fluid intake in the human body and stops us from over-drinking. The study, led by researchers from Monash University in Australia, challenges the popular idea that we should drink eight glasses of water a day for good health.
It showed that a ‘swallowing inhibition’ is activated by the brain after excess liquid is consumed, helping maintain tightly calibrated volumes of water in the body.
“If we just do what our body demands us to we will probably get it right – just drink according to thirst rather than an elaborate schedule,” said Michael Farrell, associate professor at Monash.
Similarly, the Copenhagen Heart Study, which monitored over 5000 people over a period of 14 years, found a major association between high-intensity cycling and reduced risk of coronary heart disease death.
Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for over 30 per cent of the global deaths annually.
In India too, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of deaths today, accounting for more than a quarter of all mortalities.
The Global Burden of Disease study has estimated that CVD death rate in India is 272 per one lakh population which is higher than the global average of 235.
Interestingly, as many as 50 per cent of heart disease-related deaths can be prevented by adopting healthy habits and a hygienic lifestyle.
Much like smoking, physical inactivity is also a significant risk factor for heart disease.
In fact, physical inactivity is associated with many of the leading causes of lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac ailments and even some forms of cancer.
According to the World Health Organization, insufficient physical activity is one of the ten leading risk factors for death worldwide.
While we count smoking as a serious health hazard, physical inactivity is hardly considered a life risk.
The WHO recommends that adults between the ages of 18 to 64 years should indulge in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week.
A daily cycle ride of just 20 minutes is sufficient to achieve this target.
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