Exercising more than recommended can extend your life: Study – The Hill

Story at a glance


  • New research shows that exceeding weekly levels of exercise can reduce the risk of all-cause mortality in adults.

  • However, after a certain limit of exercise time, no additional benefits were shown.

  • The results reinforce the importance of regular exercise.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends that American adults complete 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity each week or 75-150 minutes per week of vigorous physical activity.

Although a 2018 study found that about 80 percent of U.S. adults and teens are inactive enough, those who exceed HHS thresholds are more likely to live longer, according to new research published in the American Heart Association’s Journal of Circulation ( AHA).

The study found no adverse effects on cardiovascular health among individuals who completed four times the minimum recommended levels of physical activity. However, exceeding this threshold did not result in any further reduction in the risk of death.


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In an effort to understand whether exercise in excess of recommended amounts resulted in benefits or drawbacks to individuals’ cardiovascular health, researchers evaluated the physical activity and medical records of more than 100,000 people over a 30-year period.

While those who met the recommended levels of moderate and vigorous activity had a 20-21 percent lower risk and 19 percent lower risk of all causes, respectively, participants who completed two to four times that amount showed a greater reduction in risk.

Those in the latter group who completed more vigorous activity than recommended had a 21-23 percent lower risk of death, while those who completed more moderate activity saw a 26-31 percent lower risk.

Data were obtained from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, from 1988 through 2018. The majority of participants evaluated were white females, while the average age of participants was 66 years.

Measurements of physical activity were self-reported. Exercises such as walking, weightlifting, and gymnastics are classified as moderate activity. Jogging, running, swimming, and cycling are vigorous activities.

Overall, physical activity at recommended levels or higher was associated with lower risks of cardiovascular-related death and all-cause mortality.

“We’ve known for a long time that moderate and intense levels of physical exercise can reduce a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and death,” former American Heart Association president Donna K. Arnett, who was not involved in the study, said in a newspaper. Release.

“We’ve also seen that getting more than 300 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity or more than 150 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity each week may reduce a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease of atherosclerosis even more, so it makes sense That these extra minutes of exercise may also reduce the mortality rate.”

Posted on July 25, 2022

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