Is there a limit to exercise’s benefits to your heart? Results from a new study suggest there might not be.
You’re not going to find much argument about the health benefits of exercise, particularly for heart health. While some studies have shown that the benefits can plateau and potentially cause damage, a new study shows that is not the case.
And these are likely the results that you’d want to pay attention to. The limited work showing a plateauing of negative effects is very particular. It tends to focus on high-level athletes who most people can’t relate to.
So, unless you were an Olympian or made a living running distance marathons or triathlons, you likely don’t fall into this category, and exercise will offer your heart nothing but good.
This new study shows that more is better. And it doesn’t say you have to start running five miles every day to experience benefits. All you need is a few minutes per day of jogging or a couple of hours of walking (which includes regular daily movement).
Researchers looked at data from more than 90,000 adults to establish that any amount of physical activity is good for the heart. This can include formal exercises like going for a run or bike ride or simply moving through tasks during day-to-day life.
Anything that has you up and moving.
People who rarely walked around or got any formal exercise during the day were more than twice as likely to have heart disease than the most active in the group (those that walked 1,100 minutes per week/two hours per day).
Two hours per day might look like a significant number but remember that includes all steps taken. Activities like housework, errands, and shoveling the driveway are all included in that total.
Working out intensely for 50-minutes per week showed the most significant risk reduction for heart disease.
Even a little movement can help. Those classified as “not quite as inactive” had a 30-percent lower risk for heart disease than the inactive group.
Although the work did not prove cause and effect, it joins a seemingly endless list of work that shows exercise helps your heart stay healthy and young. Activity may help by protecting your veins and arteries, relaxing them, and encouraging better blood flow.