How much exercise is good for you?

A team of IMIM researchers have studied what is the minimum and maximum level of exercise that improves cardiovascular health.

Hacer ejercicio moderado, como correr, entre 1 y 5h a la semana conlleva los máximos beneficios para la salud Foto deGreg Rosenke on Unsplash

Moderate exercise, such as running, 1-2 hours a week, reduces the risk of mortality by 16%. Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

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%.

2’5h of moderate-intensity physical activity per week (or 75 min of vigorous activity), 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“.

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