Doubling or quadrupling the minimum recommended amount of weekly physical activity for American adults could significantly reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and other causes, according to new research.
The study was published Monday in the American Heart Association journal.Traffic, found that people who followed the minimum guidelines for long-term moderate or vigorous recreational physical activity reduced their risk of dying from any cause by up to 21%. But adults who exercise two to four times less can reduce their risk of death by up to 31%.
"Our study provides evidence to guide people in choosing the appropriate amount and intensity of physical activity throughout their lives to maintain their overall health," study author Dong Hoon Lee said in a news release. . Lee is a researcher in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
"Our results support current national physical activity guidelines and further suggest that maximum benefit can be achieved when engaging in moderate to high levels of moderate or vigorous activity, or a combination of both."
American Heart Association diesrecommendsAdults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic exercise, or a combination of both. This advice is based onfederal guidelinesfor physical activity.
For the new research, a team analyzed 30 years of medical record and mortality data from more than 100,000 adults who participated in two large studies: the All-Female Nurses' Health Study and the All-Male Healthcare Workers Follow-up Study. Data included self-report measures of intensity and duration of recreational physical activity. The participants were on average 66 years old.
In the study, moderate physical activity was defined as walking, low-intensity exercise, weight lifting, and gymnastics. Intensive activities included jogging, running, swimming, bicycling, and other aerobic exercises.
If you exceeded the recommended minimums, you would be rewarded with more time, especially moderate physical activity. Extremely moderate-intensity exercise, 300 to 600 minutes per week, was associated with a 26% to 31% lower risk of death from any cause, compared with almost no moderate-intensity exercise over the long term. By comparison, people who only achieved minimal moderate physical activity goals had a 20% to 21% lower risk.
For vigorous physical activity, 150 to 300 minutes per week was associated with a 21% to 23% reduction in the risk of dying from any cause compared with no activity. This compares to a 19% lower risk for people who met the minimum exercise goal.
People who reported meeting the recommended moderate physical activity had a 22 to 25% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, while those who exercised two to four times the recommendation had a 28% lower risk to 38%, according to the analysis. Those who reported the recommended amount of vigorous physical activity were 31% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, while those who doubled or quadrupled the recommended goal had a risk reduced from 27% to 33%.
More than 300 minutes of vigorous physical activity a week or 600 minutes of moderate physical activity a week did not further reduce the risk of death, according to the study. But it also did not harm cardiovascular health. Previous research has shown that long-term, high-intensity endurance activities such as marathons, triathlons, and long-distance cycling races may increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, including sudden cardiac death.
"This finding may alleviate concerns about the potentially harmful effects of vigorous physical activity seen in several previous studies," Lee said.
Donna K. Arnett, the new executive vice president for academic affairs and dean of the University of South Carolina, said in the news release that the results are consistent with what is already known about the benefits of regular physical activity for the health of the heart.
"We have known for a long time that moderate and vigorous physical activity can reduce a person's risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and mortality," said Arnett, who helped write the book.guidelinesfor the prevention of cardiovascular disease from the AHA and the American College of Cardiology. She was not involved in the new research.
"We've also seen that more than 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or more than 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity per week can further reduce a person's risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, so it makes sense to do this." . Getting those extra minutes of exercise can also reduce mortality," she said.
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