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The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life

by John Marks Published on 15th Apr 2015

by John Marks Published on 15th April 2015

Two recent major studies on the relationship between exercise and mortality have reached the same conclusion; most of us need to exercise more, but not quite as much as we may might think. 

LIFEmag Summary:

The respective studies, summarised in the New York Times, and carried out by the National Cancer Institute, Harvard University, and a team of researchers from Australia sought to solve the 'goldilocks' problem; a term which refers to the fact that although myriad forms of exercise exist, there is little consensus as to what the right amount of exercise is for prolongong healthy life. 

From real time evaluation and analysis of medical data going back 14 years, the first study found that, unsurpringly, 
people who did not exercise at all were at the highest risk of early death, but those who exercised a little, although still not meeting the standard recommendation of 150 minutes per week, nevertheless lowered their risk of premature death by 20 percent. Those who met the guidelines precisely enjoyed greater longevity benefits and 31 percent less risk of dying.  

However, the most interesting finding arose from the second study, namely that once participants significantly exceeded the recommended amount of exercise, particularly by engaging in occasional 'vigorous' exercise, there is actually an increase in mortality, meaning that over-exercise can in some cases increase the risk of premature death. 

Continue reading @ New York Times