Exercise and Living Longer...


By Sara Berg, MS (ama-assn.org)

Consistent exercise is good for a person’s health and well-being—that is well known. But how many minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity are needed to lower the risk of premature mortality? A study published in the journal Circulation defines that number and shares guidance on what level of physical activity is needed to maintain health and improve fitness.

While the 2018 physical activity guidelines recommend that adults engage in at least 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate exercise, 75 to 150 minutes each week of vigorous movement or an equivalent combination of both intensities, it turns out that if adults do more than the recommended amount, it can help them live longer. Moderate physical activity is defined as walking, weightlifting and lower-intensity exercise. Meanwhile, vigorous exercise is categorized as running, bicycling and swimming....

From two large prospective U.S. cohorts, 116,221 adults self-reported leisure-time physical activity—defined as exercise that is not done at work—through a validated questionnaire. The questionnaire was repeated up to 15 times over the course of 30 years.

The study found that those who worked out two to four times beyond the minimum physical activity recommendations had a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Those who worked out two to four times above the moderate physical activity recommendations—about 300 to 599 minutes each week—saw the most benefit. Participants had a 26% to 31% lower all-cause mortality while 28% to 38% had lower cardiovascular mortality. On top of that, 25% to 27% experienced lower non-cardiovascular mortality.  READ MORE