We all know that exercise is good for us. The advice is that we should be doing 2.5-5 hours of moderate exercise and 1.25-2.5 hours vigorous exercise each week. But does it really make a difference, give that the majority of people (myself included) don’t do this much?
Well, yes actually.
An huge study (involving records from more than 116,000 people over the course of 30 years) has found that moderate amounts of physical activity for between 300 and 600 minutes could be the sweet spot when it comes to reducing mortality risk.
And if you make those workouts a little more intense, you can do 150 to 300 minutes per week, and you are likely to reap the same rewards.
The study found that there’s no risk from over-exercising but didn’t provide any additional benefits over the recommended activity levels.
Moderate physical activity a week is classed as walking, and vigorous activity includes activities such as swimming, running and cycling).
The participants in the study who followed those guidelines had a 20–21 per cent (moderate activity) or a 19 per cent (vigorous activity) lower risk of mortality from all causes. However, for those who went up to 600 minutes of moderate activity per week, the risk fell further – a total drop of 26–31 percent.
Among the other findings from the study, researchers noted that both moderate and vigorous activity in line with the guidelines lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease: 22–25 per cent lower for moderate activity and 31 per cent lower for vigorous activity.
So it’s pretty clear from this study that getting the right amount of exercise is really important. And combined with reducing your alcohol intake, you could make a real difference to your chances of developing disease and/or dying.