Most of us have heard that exercise can improve our health. Lower risk of cancer and disease, better memory, and a longer lifespan are just a few of the vast amount of benefits that stem from regular physical activity. But have you ever wondered if you’re doing enough to get these powerful health benefits? After all, a reduced risk of cancer and a longer lifespan are things that you can’t easily see or measure.
This is one reason why we rely on the latest research to tell us how much exercise we need. Here is what science tells us about how much exercise you need for better health:
The American Heart Association’s (AHA), recommend getting 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise for overall cardiovascular health. If you’re crunched for time, 75 minutes of vigorous exercise will also do the trick
Improve Heart Health
Want to keep your heart in top shape? Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise 4-5 times per week can help improve heart health, according to a new study published in the Journal of Physiology.
This study examined 102 seniors aged 60+ who had logged their exercise history for 25 years. The results found that those who logged 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 4-5 times per week had better overall artery health than those who didn’t.
These results align with those of the American Heart Association’s (AHA), who recommend getting 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise for overall cardiovascular health. If you’re crunched for time, 75 minutes of vigorous exercise will also do the trick.
Reduce Symptoms of Depression
While exercise may not be able to cure depression, it can help reduce the symptoms. According to a study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, it takes as few as 10 minutes of exercise per week to help stabilize mood and boost your happiness.
Of course, this is the bare minimum amount of exercise you can do to have an impact on your mood. To get the max benefits, aim for 30 minutes of exercise 5 times per week and include resistance training in your fitness routine.
Why resistance training? In addition to improving bone health and chronic disease prevention, this form of exercise has recently been linked to a reduction in depressive symptoms.
Only have time for a 10-minute workout? That’s enough to help you live longer, according to the latest research.
A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that getting small bursts of physical activity (at least 10 minutes) throughout the day can help fight against death and disease. The study was conducted by researchers in preparation to update the existing national guidelines, which previously recommended getting 150-minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week.
While this is still a good number to aim for per week, the latest research has one big takeaway for us: even a small workout is better than nothing.
Boost Brain Function
There is a reason why Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, and Sheryl Sandberg make time for exercise. The most successful people know that exercise plays a key role in keeping their brain sharp throughout the day.
For a quick brain boost, hop on a stationary bike for at least 10 minutes and peddle at a moderate to vigorous pace. That’s all it takes to reap the benefits, according to researchers at Western University in Canada.
Better yet, reap the long-term brain benefits by getting in at least 120 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. Research published by Harvard Health Blog indicates that this amount can significantly improve memory and learning in the brain.
If you’re wondering which kind of exercise is best for boosting brain function, the answer is that researchers aren’t quite sure yet. However, most of the participants in recent studies have been observed while taking brisk walks.
More is Not Always Better!
After reading all this ground-breaking research on how much exercise you need, you’re now ready to grab your workout gear and start moving. But before you go, keep in mind that more exercise is not always better.
Working out too much can negatively impact your potential health benefits. For instance, one study found that those who workout more than three times the recommended amount a week were more likely to develop heart disease.
Other studies have suggested that not giving yourself enough time to recover between challenging workouts can lead to adrenal fatigue and even weight gain. In other words, there is such a thing as too much exercise!