How to live longer: The ‘optimum’ amount of exercise to do per week
Trust Me, I’m a Doctor: Mosley demonstrates at home exercises
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Published by the American Heart Association (AHA) on the lifestyle habits of 100,000 participants over a 3-year period, researchers concluded there was an optimum window of exercise of around 150 to 600 minutes per week.
In terms of hours this is the equivalent of two-and-a-half to 10 hours of exercise per week.
Furthermore, they discovered adults who in engaged in two to four times the recommended minimum of vigorous exercise per week had a 21 to 23 percent reduced risk of mortality.
Meanwhile, those who did two to four times the recommended minimum of moderate physical activity saw the percentage range rise to between 26 and 31 percent.
Just like the NHS, the AHA recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week.
Research associate at Harvard Dong Hoon said of the results: “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.
“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.”
However, the study established above the 600 minute marker that exercise did not provide additional reduction in the risk of death.
As a result, the study adds to a significant body of research and evidence showing how beneficial physical activity is for overall health.
One area of the body where exercise, particularly cycling, running, and jogging, have a positive effect is on the cardiovascular system.
These exercises, and others, help to strengthen this area and improve oxygen flow to important areas of the body such as the brain and other organs.
This comes at a time when there is growing focus on heart disease in the UK.
A recent report published in the journal Open Heart suggests an estimated 300,000 people in the UK could have fatal heart disease, but that one third of this group may not be aware of it.
The disease in question is known as aortic valve stenosis; it occurs when the heart’s aortic valve narrows.
If the valve doesn’t open fully this can reduce the flow of blood to the rest of the body.
Data suggests over half of people diagnosed with an advanced stage of the disease could die without adequate treatment.
Aortic valve stenosis is often not diagnosed until later stages as it doesn’t cause symptoms early on.
The researchers wrote their study suggested the condition is “affecting many individuals within the UK population aged 55 or over”.
They added: “Without appropriate detection and intervention, their survival prospects are likely to be poor.”
Such is the nature of the potential crisis the researchers cautioned the NHS would not be able to deal with the potential wave of patients with the condition.
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