Experts today suggest getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week to improve your heart health and lower the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, while also noting that even more activity might be necessary for some things like weight loss.
But two provocative studies have discovered what the ideal amount of exercise may be, within the frame of the main goal, which is living as long as possible. Keep reading to find out more.
1 — This Much Exercise May Have Serious Longevity Benefits
Recently, the NY Times reported on two recent studies that looked at the connection between a certain amount of exercise and longevity.
The first study, released in JAMA Network Open, studied the number of steps that people took each day. Researchers studied the data from a large study of heart health among middle-aged individuals, which has been going on for more than ten years. At the outset, the participants wore an activity tracker that counted their steps each day for a week and also took medical tests.
The scientists discovered that males and females who took at least 7,000 steps each day when they joined the study were half as likely to have died in the intervening years than those who had step counts below 7,000.
“The death risks continued to drop as people’s step totals increased, reaching as high as a 70 percent less of an early death among individuals taking over 9,000 steps,” the Times said.
2 — But Benefits Leveled Off
However, individuals who took more than 10,000 steps each day rarely outlived people taking at least 7,000. “There was a point of diminishing returns,” said study leader Amanda Paluch.
3 — How Much Exercise Is Ideal?
Another study, released in Aug. in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, had similar findings in terms of how much exercise is best for a long life.
Researchers looked at data from the Copenhagen City Heart Study, which has been ongoing for about 50 years. Scientists gathered data on how many hours Danish adults exercised or played sports each week.
Scientists looked at about 9,000 Danes who joined the study in the ’90s. People who reported exercising between 2.6 and 4.5 hours each week when they joined were around 40 percent less likely to have died than those who were less active.
The Times notes that if you exercise 2.6 hours each week, or about 30 minutes most days, would probably amount to 7,000 to 8,000 steps each. Working out 4.5 hours each week would likely translate to around 10,000 daily steps.
Author: Steven Sinclaire