How Much Exercise Benefits Our Health Most…
What’s the Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life?
Dr Mercola | DrMercola.com
Modern fitness research offers many potent reminders that physical activity is one of the best “preventive drugs” for many common ailments, from psychiatric disorders to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.1
For example, one meta-review2 of 305 randomized controlled trials comparing the effectiveness of exercise versus drug interventions on mortality outcomes found “no statistically detectable differences” between exercise and medications for prediabetes and heart disease!
One of the key health benefits of exercise is that it helps normalize your glucose, insulin, and leptin levels by optimizing insulin and leptin receptor sensitivity.
This is one of the most important factors for optimizing your overall health and preventing chronic disease, and may explain why exercise is such a potent preventive medicine.
However, as with other medications, there’s the matter of dosage. Too little, and you won’t get much benefit. Too much, and you could potentially do harm.
For example, extreme endurance cardio, such as marathon running, actually damages your heart and can negate the health benefits you’d otherwise reap from a regular fitness program.
While your heart is indeed designed to work very hard, and will be strengthened from doing so, it’s only designed to do so intermittently, and for short periods — not for an hour or more at a time.
Finding the Goldilocks Zone…
As discussed in a recent New York Times article,3 there’s a “Goldilocks zone” in which exercise creates the greatest benefit for health and longevity:
“Two new, impressively large-scale studies4,5 provide some clarity, suggesting that the ideal dose of exercise for a long life is a bit more than many of us currently believe we should get, but less than many of us might expect.”
In the larger of the two studies,6 data was collected from six large health surveys involving an impressive 661,000 adults and 14 years’ worth of death records. Exercise habits ranged from no exercise at all, to 10 times the recommended amount, or 25 hours per week and over. Among their findings:
Those who did not exercise had the highest risk of premature death
Those who exercised but did not meet current exercise recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week lowered their risk of early death by 20 percent
Those who met the guidelines of 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise lowered their risk of death by 31 percent during the 14 year study period, compared to those who did not exercise
Tripling the recommended amount of exercise had the greatest benefit. Those who engaged in moderate exercise such as walking for 450 minutes per week (just over an hour a day), lowered their risk of premature death by 39 percent, compared to non-exercisers
Those who exercised at 10 times above the recommended level READ MORE: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/05/01/right-dose-exercise-for-long-life.aspx