600 minutes of weekly exercise can decrease risk of death, study finds

Mothers Against Senseless Killings (MASK) founder Tamar Manasseh (C) takes part in a yoga class on a street intersection in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, United States, August 5, 2015. — Reuters/File
Mothers Against Senseless Killings (MASK) founder Tamar Manasseh (C) takes part in a yoga class on a street intersection in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, United States, August 5, 2015. — Reuters/File

A new study has revealed that working out two to four times a week can reduce the risk of death among adults.

Researchers analyzed more than 100,000 participants for 30 years and revealed that those who worked out for 150 to 600 minutes had a 21-31% lower mortality rate.

“The potential impact of physical activity on health is great, yet it remains unclear whether engaging in high levels of prolonged, vigorous or moderate-intensity physical activity above the recommended levels provides any additional benefits or harmful effects on cardiovascular health,” says Dong Hoon Lee, ScD, MS, a research associate in the department of nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, in a media release.

“Our study leveraged repeated measures of self-reported physical activity over decades to examine the association between long-term physical activity during middle and late adulthood and mortality.”

Additionally, the study combated the belief that “too much physical activity” can be harmful to health and found no harmful cardiovascular health effects among those that engaged in more than the recommended minimum activity levels.

Participants self-reported their level of physical activity through a survey every two years. The questions included information about their family medical history, health information, illnesses, and personal habits like alcohol consumption.

“Our study provides evidence to guide individuals to choose the right amount and intensity of physical activity over their lifetime to maintain their overall health,” Lee said.

“Our findings support the current national physical activity guidelines and further suggest that the maximum benefits may be achieved by performing medium to high levels of either moderate or vigorous activity or a combination.”

The study is published in the journal Circulation.

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