How Much Exercise Reduces Your Risk of Premature Death?
We all know that exercise is good for our health, yet too few people meet the recommended minimum amount of exercise suggested by doctors, 2.5 hours a week of moderate exercise. That’s only 30 minutes of moderate movement five times a week. However, new research tells us that we actually need a little more exercise than that – an hour of moderate exercise, 7 days a week is optimal for keeping the grim reaper from our doors.
Richard Taite is founder and CEO of Cliffside Malibu, offering evidence-based, individualized addiction treatment based on the Stages of Change model. He is also co-author of the book Ending Addiction for Good.
Editor: Muhammad Talha
A New York Times Well Blog looked at several studies of exercise. In one major study, the well-blogger interprets the results:
Those who met the guidelines precisely, completing 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, enjoyed greater longevity benefits and 31 percent less risk of dying during the 14-year period compared with those who never exercised.
The sweet spot for exercise benefits, however, came among those who tripled the recommended level of exercise, working out moderately, mostly by walking, for 450 minutes per week, or a little more than an hour per day. Those people were 39 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who never exercised.
This study, also published in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggests that a small amount of vigorous exercise has a positive health effect:
But 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, compared with people who never broke much of a sweat. The researchers did not note any increase in mortality, even among those few people completing the largest amounts of intense exercise.
Exercise is an important part of addiction recovery, because it sets individuals up for healthy lifestyles. Exercise releases important chemicals in our brains that help us to feel better about ourselves, and being stronger and more able to do the things we want in life helps self-esteem. A little walk after dinner or before going to work is something we can all make time for. You’ll likely live longer and be happier for it.