Exercise is healthy, but what is the minimum and maximum amount that optimizes your cardiovascular health benefits? This is the question that a group of research and medical staff from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and the Hospital del Mar wanted to answer.
The answer? Following the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (such as walking fast or dancing) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (such as running) per week, reduces the risk of mortality by 16%.
The study, which has followed 11,158 people for more than 7 years, also shows that the maximum health benefit is obtained by a 4-fold increase of these levels of exercise, i.e. about 5 hours of moderate exercise per week. Exercising more than that, however, does not bring any extra benefit.
The authors, led by Roberto Elosua, emphasize the importance for our health of physical activity and emphasize that “it is not only an individual decision, but requires the commitment of public institutions to facilitate access to the population to environments where these physical activities can be carried out“.
Albert Clará, Georgina Berenguer, Silvia Pérez-Fernández, Helmut Schröder, Rafel Ramos, María Grau, Irene R Degano, Alba Fernández-Sanlés, Jaume Marrugat, Roberto Elosua. Análisis de la relación dosis-respuesta entre actividad física recreacional y eventos cardiovasculares y mortalidad por todas las causas: el estudio REGICOR. Rev Esp Cardiol;2020 [Epub ahead of print].