U.S. Government Guidelines On Exercise
As per the U.S. government guidelines, an adult requires at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, averaging 21 minutes per day or 30 minutes for 6 days a week. Adults who find themselves stripped of time and unable to spare 21 minutes a day could instead perform 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise per week or 12.5 minutes every day. In addition, adults are also advised to perform a muscle-strengthening exercise at least two days a week.
Study Analyzes benefits of following U.S. Guideline
A study reports that adults who follow this recommended guideline will increase their life span by significantly cutting their risk of early death.
“Our findings support that the physical activity levels recommended in the 2018 physical activity guidelines for Americans provide important survival benefits,” researcher Bo Xi and colleagues wrote in a journal news release.
However, this guideline is only stating the minimum amount of physical activity required to reap the benefits of longevity. Performing more vigorous exercises for a longer duration can lead to even higher health benefits. The guidelines and their beneficial effects have been proven by researchers who analyzed data from almost half a million adults from the United States between the ages of 18 to 85, all of whom were examined for almost a decade.
At the end of the study, less than 16% of the initial participants fulfilled the recommended exercise guidelines. In the decade spanning the collected data, approximately 60,000 of the participants died.
Risk stratification was done based on the variable types of activity and the decline in mortality rates seen with each activity type. Adults who performed muscle-strengthening exercises two days a week were found to have an 11% lower mortality risk in comparison to adults with a sedentary lifestyle. Participants who engaged in moderate aerobic exercises reportedly benefited with a 29% lower mortality rate while adults who engaged in both aerobic and strengthening exercises were rewarded with the highest benefit with a 40% lower mortality rate.
The study reported benefits from aerobic exercise were due to the declined risk of cardiovascular disease, respiratory illnesses, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, injuries, and accidents. Participants who engaged in muscle strengthening exercises benefited from a lower risk of cardiac diseases, chronic respiratory system diseases, and cancer.
Overall vigorous exercise was found to have higher survival benefits than moderate or light intensity activities.
Although the study doesn’t show a direct causal relationship between exercise and mortality rates, its finding definitely establishes a strong correlation between the benefits of exercise and longevity.