When it comes to activity, the more the better

In the journals

Published: April, 2021

Regular exercise is good medicine, but more may be better, suggests a study published online Jan. 12, 2021, by PLOS Medicine. Scientists asked more than 90,000 people without heart disease to wear a fitness tracker for a week to measure the duration and intensity of their physical activity. Five years later, they found that the most active people were less likely to have had a heart attack or stroke or be diagnosed with heart disease.

That's no surprise, but the researchers also discovered that risk continued to shrink as weekly minutes of activity and intensity rose. People who exercised the most and at the highest intensity had the best odds of maintaining good cardiovascular health. Guidelines recommend people get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, but these findings suggest that trying to do a little extra — whether in time, intensity, or both — offers more reward.

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