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How much exercise do you need to enhance your health?

By Marcus Santer

How Much Exercise Do You Need?

Yesterday whilst eating my breakfast I was reading an article on which is better for your health…

Running or walking?

The answer in a nutshell is: “It depends.”

Which shouldn’t surprise you.

But to sum up:

And this article combined with the aftertaste of a lot of reading and researching I’m doing at the moment brought me to a conclusion.

Exercise is an upside down U kinda deal.

See the diagram above.

Too much exercise can be harmful to health and too little isn’t very helpful to your health.

So what’s the ‘Sweet Spot’?

Once again, your first reply to that question will be…

“It depends”

And it depends on the person exercising.

If you’re just starting out your sweet spot is going to be very different to someone who’s been working out regularly for the last 30 years.

You dig?

Whatever your age, level of fitness or current amount of exercise you’re already doing, the key is to progressively increase your physical activity level.

Don’t try to go from zero to hero in one leap!

If you do, you’re likely to breath the Golden Rule we have around here:

Don’t Get Injured!

So how much exercise is good enough?

Well most governments recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week to enhance and maintain good health.

So now you know.

And according to researchers from the National Cancer Institute, those who get the recommended amount can expect to experience a 31% lower risk of dying than those who never exercise.

Key points to take away:

  1. Some exercise is better than no exercise for lowering your risk of an early death
  2. The sweet spot seems to be 20 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise per day
  3. Forget perfect, the best exercise routine is the one you actually enjoy doing

If you want to know more about this subject I recommend you read pages 76 to 101 of my book: The Healthy Ageing Pyramid.

Only available here.

References used in this post:
1 Leisure time physical activity and mortality: a detailed pooled analysis of the dose-response relationship http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25844730
2 Physical Activity and Cancer http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical- activity-fact-sheet
3 Even a low-dose of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity reduces mortality by 22% in adults aged ≥60 years: a systematic review and meta-analysis http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/49/19/1262.short