What’s the Right Dose of Exercise?

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We all know that generally exercise is good for your health. But how much exercise is enough? Can you exercise too much? Is walking the dog every day substantial, or should you hitting a spin class a few times a week? Two new studies give us insight into how to answer these questions.

The National Cancer InstituteHarvard University and other institutions looked at data on exercise habits of people during middle-aged and then compared those habits with the respondents’ health 14 years after the answered the initial survey. The 661,000 adults ranged from no exercise daily to moderate 25+ hours a week of exercise.


Unsurprisingly, they found that those who did not exercise were at the highest risk of early death. Your body needs to move and rewards you when you do! More interestingly though, those who did some exercise, but fell short of the daily recommendations, lowered their risk of early death by 20 percent. Those who continued to exercise for 150 minutes a week had reduced their risk of dying early by 31 percent. Finally, those who walked 450 minutes a week did have the best results, with a 39 percent less chance of premature death. The study found that this amount was the plateau and that more exercise than 450 minutes of walking a week did not do anything percentage-wise towards extending ones life.

The second study looked at types of activity and how it could affect your health and longevity. The study from James Cook University in Cairnes found the following:

If someone engaged in even occasional vigorous exercise, he or she gained a small but not unimportant additional reduction in mortality. Those who spent up to 30 percent of their weekly exercise time in vigorous activities were 9 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who exercised for the same amount of time but always moderately, while those who spent more than 30 percent of their exercise time in strenuous activities gained an extra 13 percent reduction in early mortality.

Adding exercise, moderate and vigorous activity into your week is important to keep your body and mind healthy. Encouraging yourself, family members, even co-workers to take time out of their every day to add activity and exercise into their routines can be beneficial, as these two new studies have shown us. It does not take a lot to improve your health. Just a regular commitment to moving more!

Having a desk job is no excuse for not getting in more exercise either. You can plan walking meetings, take regular breaks, or invest in a treadmill desk. With a treadmill desk, you can easily achieve those 450 minutes of walking a week, or even more!

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