Previous studies and recommendations stated that 30 minute-long sessions were very beneficial, but a newer research suggests that half an hour of exercising is not enough for a healthy heart, and that the standard should be lifted.
- The study was conducted on 370,000 participants, tracked for 15 years
- 30 minutes per day (2.5 hours per week) decreases the chances of heart failure by 10%
- 60 minutes per day (5 hours per week) raises that number to 19%
- 120 minutes per day (10 hours per week) is the true beneficial duration, with 35% reduced chance of heart problems
Official recommendations for both the population in the United States and the United Kingdom has been that 30 minutes of brisk walking, cycling or other types of exercising will be good for your health. And it will. However, not as much as it was previously believed. Instead, we have to work a little harder to achieve that result.
Researchers at the University of Texas have conducted a large study to better determine the benefits of exercise against heart problems. They analyzed data from around 370,000 participants, tracked along 15 years of activity and health. Their main objective was to understand the decreased risk of heart failure following the daily recommendation offered by doctors and physicians.
The results showed that, in a way, no one has mislead us. Exercising 30 minutes per day (2.5 hours per week) does provide with an improvement against developing heart disease, though only by 10%. It is indeed a benefit, though not quite too significant. However, they have reached the conclusion that a true effect will be felt if that time was doubled, or even quadrupled.
If a little is good, the more must be better. Researchers found that by exercising 1 hour per day (or 5 hours per week), it will decrease the chances of suffering from heart problems by 19%. For true major benefits though, people will have to double even that time.
In order to achieve the better felt effect of 35% decreased risk of heart failure, one would have to exercise 2 hours per day (or 10 hours per week). That is the only true margin where physical activity will genuinely improve the strength of heart muscles. It’s the only parameter that has been deemed as ‘good enough’ and a clearly obvious benefit.
The results have been consistent across all ages, genders, ethnicities or countries.
According to researcher, Ambarish Pandey, future recommendation regarding daily physical activity should take their study into consideration. It highlights the need to dedicate more time to exercising if it’s advised for the sake of reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Like any other muscle, the heart works better and more efficiently when it’s well trained. Half an hour of exercising is not enough for a healthy heart, but two hours will do it.
Cardiovascular problems is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and while that numbers have declined, they have not dipped enough. More time spent exercising and increasing the recommended norm could be a way to genuinely amend the situation.
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