A new study found a lower risk of death in adults who engage in long-duration physical activity of between 150 and 600 minutes per week. The results were published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.
“The potential impact of physical activity on health is great, but it was not yet clear whether engaging in higher levels of activity over a longer period of time provides additional benefits or harmful effects on cardiovascular health,” says Dong. Hoon Lee, researcher at Harvard University School of Public Health.
They evaluated mortality data and medical records of more than 100,000 people.
To answer this, the team looked at mortality data and medical records for more than 100,000 people in the United States with an average age of 66. They were followed for 30 years, a “long term” that the researcher uncovered.
“Our study took advantage of decades of self-reported measures of physical activity to examine the association between long-term physical activity and mortality,” he remarked. The authors said the research “provides evidence to guide people in choosing the right amount and intensity of physical activity throughout life to maintain their overall health.”
How much physical activity should you do?
The study took as a parameter the current guidelines from the American Heart Association, based on physical activity guidelines from the United States Department of Health and Human Services prepared in 2018. The unit recommends doing at least 150 minutes per week. Moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity or a combination of both.
“Moderate activity” was defined as running, low-intensity exercise, weight lifting, and calisthenics (discipline performed on simple bar structures using one’s own body weight). Whereas so-called “vigorous activity” includes jogging, running, swimming, cycling and other aerobic exercises. During the time of the study, the risk of mortality was reduced in those who performed between two and four times the recommended amount of exercise. For example:
- Participants who met the guidelines for vigorous physical activity (at least 75 minutes per week) saw a 19% lower overall risk of death from all causes over the long term.
- Among those who did the recommendation twice (150 minutes) and four times (300 minutes), this figure rose to between 21% and 23%.
- Participants who met the guidelines for moderate physical activity (at least 150 minutes per week) had a 20% to 21% lower risk of death from all causes over the long term.
- Those who exercised twice (300 minutes) and quadrupled (600 minutes) had a 26% to 31% lower risk benefit.
So how much is ideal? “The lowest mortality rates were achieved with 150 to 300 minutes of vigorous activity per week, 300 to 600 minutes of moderate activity per week, or a combination of both,” the research concluded.
High performance and cardiovascular health
Previous studies found evidence that prolonged, high-intensity endurance exercise — such as marathons, triathlons and bicycle running — may increase the risk of cardiovascular events. This new research, however, found no harmful effects on heart health in people who reported doing more than four times the minimum recommended activity, either moderately (ie, more than 600 minutes per week) or vigorously. (more than 300 minutes per week).
“This finding may reduce concerns about the potentially harmful effect of engaging in high levels of physical activity seen in many previous studies,” concluded Lee. However, engaging in long-term high-intensity physical activity (more than 300 minutes per week) or moderate-intensity physical activity (more than 600 minutes per week) at levels greater than four times the recommended minimum did not help. Hui. danger of death.