News 11 Feb 2022

Cantabria Labs and Rafa Nadal put the spotlight on sport and daily exercise to properly care for health

Cantabria Labs released data today from its study “Good health habits”, together with its ambassador Rafa Nadal and a leading group of experts who met up in Manacor (Mallorca) to review the information, designed to help pharmaceutical companies develop effective prevention and awareness campaigns to care for #whatsimportant: health.


The Spanish pharmaceutical company has launched a prevention and healthcare campaign championed by its ambassador, Rafa Nadal, under the slogan #whatsimportant, to help Spaniards better look after their health. As a first step towards achieving this goal, Cantabria Labs conducted a survey of lifestyle habits with the aim of learning about, reinforcing and promoting healthy daily routines.


“We were struck by the fact that the public knows how they should take care of themselves and what habits they should include in their daily lives. In fact, 97% of respondents know that not including these habits can affect their immune system. Even so, 25% admitted that they don’t look after themselves enough”, said Cantabria Labs CEO Susana Rodríguez during the meeting, which was livestreamed. However, she also added that “although people think they know how to take care of their health, much of the information they’re receiving is false and unsubstantiated. That’s why it’s important to turn to healthcare experts and specialists”.

A very interesting fact revealed by this study, in which 5,488 people participated, relates to our diet and our fruit and vegetable intake. More than 90% of us eat fruit and vegetables every day and even include up to two pieces of fruit in our diet (64%). In fact, among the respondents, diet seems to be the habit that most people focus on, with daily exercise being the most difficult activity to include in healthy lifestyle behaviour (just 16% exercise daily). When the data was broken down by sex, it was clear that women pay particular attention to food (49%), while men tend to focus more on exercise (50%).

Sport and exercise is becoming more prevalent amongst the public, but it’s not enough, because it should be done daily as opposed to sporadically, according to Dr. Álvarez de Mon, Head of Internal Medecine at the Príncipe de Asturias University Hospital. “Ideally, you should walk around 10,000 steps a day”, a routine that more than 34% of the respondents manage sporadically, but not every day.

The differences between men and women revealed that men are more likely to practise sport on a daily basis (23% vs. 14%). Walking is the exercise of choice among women (41%). According to Dr. Ángel Ruiz-Cotorro, a specialist in sports medicine and traumatology, “Sport has multiple benefits for our health. In terms of the musculoskeletal system, it gives us greater resistance and muscle strength, as well as improving bone composition and density. It also has cardiovascular benefits, since it improves contractility and heart rate while lowering blood pressure. At the metabolic level, it reduces the risk of developing diabetes, obesity and other diseases. And, of course, let’s not forget the impact it has on our mental health and, lastly, our  cognitive functions, since it improves coordination, reaction time and memory”.


It is also important to take care of the largest organ in the body, which is the skin. Dr. González, a dermatologist at Ramón y Cajal Hospital and the Pedro Jaén Group, said that “sun photoprotection is the best measure to adopt to prevent skin cancer and  fight skin ageing. It is important to use proper photoprotection and avoid sun exposure in the middle of the day”.

When the respondents were asked what prevents them from adopting better habits, the main reasons mentioned were time (47%) and laziness (27%). “You can overcome that laziness when you realise the real consequences of not taking care of yourself. It’s a question of gradually incorporating healthy new habits that help boost our energy levels and vitality. That’s why the first step is to ask yourself a question: why do I need to take care of myself? From there, start by taking small steps with the enthusiasm, peace of mind and self-confidence of someone who believes that they can achieve their goal”, said surgeon and writer Dr. Mario Alonso Puig at the end of the event. With respect to sleep, more than 84% claimed that they get between six and eight hours a night, although Dr. Puig suggested the 7-8 was the ideal.

Doctors and pharmacists recommend that food supplements be taken according to individual needs, through personalised medicine. In fact, more than 40% of those surveyed support and complement their healthcare with food supplements, with more women than men including these as part of their nutritional routine (29% men vs. 45% women).


Dr. Álvarez de Mon added that “nutritional support helps regulate intestinal bacteria and bacterial production of mediators,  as well as promoting correct functioning of immune system cells.  Therefore, nutrition is essential and supplements with ingredients like Inmunoferon not only prevent nutritional deficits, but also optimise immunological processes”.

At the end of the event, the experts from different fields concluded that what’s important, i.e. health, has to be addressed from a holistic approach that includes habits and health measures related not only to the immune system, but also to the body and mind, with a focus on the present moment in four areas: food, sport, sleep and relaxation, and care for the body.


With respect to healthy habits, tennis player Rafa Nadal wanted to send a message to raise awareness: “As the experts have explained, we must take care of our body and mind. We can achieve much of this through sport. It is important to incorporate daily exercise into our routines to take care of what’s important, health”. Regarding his own daily habits, he said, “Obviously sports is my favourite activity, it’s my life, my profession! The habits that I perhaps struggle with are good diet and sleep, but I do everything I can to keep on top of them”.

Susana Rodríguez concluded by saying, “Due to Covid-19, 36% of the population have become aware of the importance of taking care of themselves. This offers an excellent opportunity for us here at Cantabria Labs and for the whole pharmaceutical sector to vigorously promote and spread the tools we need to properly take care of our health.”