Too little, too much, too slow, too fast, always the word ‘too’ in front of what we think is the right amount of exercise. The experts can’t seem to agree on the best workout time for our health and longevity, so how are we supposed to know? Recent research, which compared the health and longevity of several groups of people who exercised for differing amounts of time, may finally give us the right answer.
We are aware of the importance of regular exercise and know that if we’re couch potatoes we may shave a few years off of our expected lifespan. Dino said that by the same token, we consider athletes who rigorous exercise for hours each week would have tremendously increased lifespans. Not exactly.
People who exercise for 10 hours or more each week don’t increase their lifespan any further than a person who exercises an hour and a half each week. An hour and a half, which translates into 3 – 30 minute workouts each week does increase the projected lifespan by 31%. That is the lowest recommended time for exercise by most experts and every little bit helps improve health and longevity, but exercise is not one of those things where if a little is good, a whole lot is better.
The research discovered that the ‘just right’ amount of exercise is slightly over an hour per day, 450 minutes total for the week. That sweet spot of exercise increases the lifespan by a projected 39%.