Recent Blog Articles
Postpartum anxiety is invisible, but common and treatable
Right-sizing opioid prescriptions after surgery
Ready for your routine medical checkup?
Nicotine addiction explained — and how medications can help
Is your vision impaired? Tips to cope
Misgendering: What it is and why it matters
Healthy brain, healthier heart?
Stories connect us
Wondering about a headline-grabbing drug? Read on
Respiratory virus cases tick upward: What parents should know
How much exercise is optimal for heart health?
Doing as little as 15 minutes a day can make a difference. Logging extra time helps—but only up to a point.
Regular exercise helps fend off high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and a host of other chronic diseases. Despite these well-publicized benefits, most Americans aren't physically active on a daily basis. One reason may be a mistaken belief that exercise requires heart-pounding exertion and sweat. While that level of effort makes sense if you're training for a race or other athletic event, it's simply not necessary if your main concern is staying healthy.
"Unfortunately, most people have blurred the distinction between exercising for health and well-being and exercising for fitness in an athletic, competitive sense," says Dr. Harvey Simon, associate professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. "The truth is that if you're exercising for health, it takes very little effort to see enormous benefits," he says.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.