A Harvard study found what happens when you train more than the WHO guidelines. And the result is surprising …
Current WHO guidelines recommend 75 to 300 minutes of exercise per week to stay healthy. The minimum time, 75 minutes, is what should be devoted to vigorous sports activities. While for moderate to intense aerobic activity the time should vary between 150 and 300 minutes. And who wants to train more? Is it good or does it just waste time?
Training more than 75 minutes a week: is it worth it?
Researchers from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health looked at data from more than 100,000 participants 30 years of studies, comparing their exercise habits with the risk of death (from any cause). Activities such as walking, weight lifting, and bodyweight training were considered moderate to intense exercise. While intense exercise included activities such as running, swimming, cycling and aerobics. Current WHO guidelines recommend getting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of strenuous exercise or a combination of both. And who does more?
The researchers found that study participants who met the minimum guidelines were up to 21 percent less likely to die from any cause than their peers who exercised less. But – surprise – those who did more than the minimum amount of physical activity achieved better results: 21 to 23 percent less chance of death than others if they performed 150 to 300 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. And extra moderate exercise, such as walking, was even more protective with the risk of death being reduced by a third (from 26 to 31%) by doubling the walking time from 300 to 600 minutes per week.
One of the world’s leading fitness experts, Harvard University professor of human evolutionary biology Daniel E. Lieberman, agrees: “The results make perfect sense,” he explained in an interview with Salon. “This study provides important evidence that more than 150 minutes of physical activity are beneficial for healthespecially in case of vigorous training. ”Referring to his recent best seller PracticeLieberman added that the work of his Harvard colleagues “confirms that concerns about excessive exercise are exaggerated.”
The best workout to stay fit
As much as we train, according to Dong Hoon Lee, lead author of the study, the secret to long-term benefits rather than time is consistency. Not neglecting physical activity over time would have a number of benefits ranging from mood enhancement to heart health to muscle building, important for the prevention of age-related decline. The best workout to stay fit? Scholars suggest a mix of cardio and strength training. “Moderate aerobic activity is the foundation of any exercise regimen, but some degree of strength training is especially important with age and vigorous physical activity is almost always beneficial for those who can safely tolerate it,” the Professor Lieberman. Provided you always keep that in mind not everyone can undergo the same training regimen. But “many factors such as age, gender, fitness, state of health, previous physical activity history, and so on” must always be taken into account.
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