Working Out Twice As Long As Recommended Cuts Risk Of Death By Nearly A Third By Matt Higgins for Natural Blaze
It’s no secret that exercising can lead to a longer and healthier life. Working out reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. Now, a new study finds going above and beyond the recommended amount of weekly exercise can significantly reduce the risk of death among adults. Researchers say working out between 150 and 600 minutes a week can cut a person’s risk of early death by up to a third.
Researchers analyzed 100,000 participants over a 30-year period for their study. They found that adults who performed two to four times the standard amount of moderate or vigorous exercise per week had a significantly lower risk of death from all causes. Among those who engaged in this much vigorous physical activity, the risk of mortality fell by 21 to 23 percent. For those who participated in two to four times the recommended amount of moderate physical activity, the death risk dropped 26 to 31 percent.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity, or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity weekly, or a combination of both. Meanwhile, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous physical activity.
“The potential impact of physical activity on health is great, yet it remains unclear whether engaging in high levels of prolonged, vigorous or moderate intensity physical activity above the recommended levels provides any additional benefits or harmful effects on cardiovascular health,” says Dong Hoon Lee, Sc.D., M.S., a research associate in the department of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, in a media release. “Our study leveraged repeated measures of self-reported physical activity over decades to examine the association between long-term physical activity during middle and late adulthood and mortality.”
Does working out ‘too much’ damage the heart?
Researchers gathered death and medical records on more than 100,000 adults from two large prospective studies: the all-female Nurses’ Health Study and the all-male Health Professionals Follow-up Study from 1988 to 2018. Sixty-three percent of study participants were female, and more than 96 percent were white. They had an average age of 66 and had an average body mass index (BMI) of 26 kg/m2.