It’s tough to sift through the avalanche of nutritional and exercise advice we have access to. Sometimes even the guidance itself can be difficult to understand. Take the federal recommendations on exercise: 150 minutes of moderate exercise in a week. Is that the bare minimum? It can be a little hard to tell just how much/how little exercise you really need per week. Two recent, massive studies have aimed at solving that question.
How much exercise is enough?
Any amount of exercise will be beneficial, but beyond that, how do different amounts of exercise affect someone’s overall longevity?
Scientists in Australia collected data from numerous studies to look at the exercise habits of over 200,000 people and the mortality rate that their level of exercise led to. They found that engaging in even a modicum of moderate exercise significantly raised the lifespan of participants. However, the real benefits of exercise emerged among those who engaged in a vigorous exercise (think running vs. walking).
Klaus Gabel, who led the Australian study and is a senior research fellow at James Cook University, concluded from the data that we should “reach at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week and have around 20 to 30 minutes of that be vigorous activity.”
An American study looked at an even larger group of people, over 660,000, to see how exercise influenced lifespans. Researchers with Harvard and the National Cancer Institute found that people following the 150-minute exercise guidelines were 31% less likely to die over the 14-year span of the data collection than their non-exercising counterparts.
What you should do
Crunching the numbers recommended by Gabel, we should be getting about 30 minutes of exercise 5 days weekly or 50 minutes of exercise 3 days weekly. That’s right. Under an hour of exercise per day on days you exercise.
That thinking corresponds with the Olumia Life program and the weekly goals for cardio, core and resistance training. In fact, another recent study has shown just how well the Olumia Life system can work.
This is not necessarily bold advice; it’s just that many programs choose to modify it or only count steps, creating a kaleidoscope of different, confusing information. Olumia Life is designed to stick with what science has shown works best. Plenty of other organizations agree.
In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that to achieve overall cardiovascular health (and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke), we should be getting
“At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 OR at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; OR a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity AND moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.”
Sounds pretty familiar, right?
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