Exceeding Exercise Guidelines Boosts Survival, to a Point

A new study published on July 25 in the journal Circulation suggests that going beyond the current minimum exercise recommendations set by the US Department of Health and Human Services may add years to one’s life.

The US Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines recommend a minimum of 150 to 300 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 to 150 minutes a week of vigorous exercise. The study reported that adults who performed double this range weekly had the lowest long-term risk of mortality out of over 100,000 adults followed.

However, adults who reported completing four times the minimum recommended activity levels saw no clear incremental mortality benefit, but also no harm.

Some studies have suggested that long-term, high-intensity exercise may be associated with increased risks of atrial fibrillation, coronary artery calcification, and sudden cardiac death. However, most studies that suggest this result of high levels of exercise have only used one measurement of physical activity capturing a mix of people who chronically exercise at high levels and those who do it sporadically, which possibly can be harmful.

“My takeaway is the part for running. 3 runs per week should meet the time required which is the cornerstone of our running clinic. Distance is >= 8 to 10km of running per workout should add up to 2 to 3 hours per week of what is called vigorous exercise. Moderate lower intensity exercise is at a lower heart rate and takes more time per week.” -Carey Nelson, Forerunners

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