September 4, 2019

How Much Exercise Do You Really Need to Live Longer?

How Much Exercise Do You Really Need to Live Longer?

Yes, some of us are natural gym rats and just love exercising. But others of us just use it as a means to an end, and would rather know the BARE MINIMUM they’ll need to get the most benefits! So how much exercise do you really need, if you’re only after maximum gain for minimum pain? 😉

how much exercise do you really need

Well, it turns out that just 30 minutes, 5 days a week, of moderate exercise (including fast walking), makes people live 3 and 1/2 years longer!

This was according to a new study in the Public Library of Science magazine. And this wasn’t a tiny study, either. They looked at existing data from six other studies, that had half a million participants total.

So, since you don’t want to ask this next question,  I’ll do it for you:

“What if I don’t want to work out for 150 minutes per week?”

What if that still sounds like a little too much? After all, “How much exercise do you REALLY need…?”

Good news: yes! If you do half of that, then you still have a longer life than average, by almost 2 years! But here’s what I hope you’re wondering instead: “Should I try and exercise more than 150 minutes per week?”

Like, if you exercised for an hour every single day or something pretty intense like that, then would you live, say, 10 years longer?

The answer to that is no. The study found that moderate workouts for about an hour a day, five days a week, helped you live about 4 years longer, but beyond that, more exercise didn’t add any more years. And as you might have noted yourself, if working out for a half hour a day gives you 3.5 more years, while working out for an hour only gave you 4 more years…I wouldn’t blame anyone for cutting their workouts a little short!

Good news: #PiyoLive sessions can last 30 minutes or less!

I think this is actually really great, because it goes to show that almost anyone can live longer and healthier without a lot of “pain” involved. How much exercise do you really need? Only 150 minutes per week. So much for, no pain, no gain!

Moderate exercises, from walking to hiking to swimming, all count towards your total for the week!

Another interesting side to these findings is, it also applied to people who were overweight. They also gained 3.5 years on their life, with those 30 minute workouts!

It’s understandable if you’re thinking, “Well…sorry, Michele…but 3.5 years doesn’t sound like that much. After all, it’s a lot of spent in the gym, that I could be spending other places!”

…But, I have to respectfully disagree with you, a bunch!! Because, while regular exercise can add years onto your life, it’s more helpful that exercise makes you FEEL a lot better!

It can at least partially battle depression and anxiety because it releases feel-good hormones that relieve stress. It also gets more blood flowing to your brain, which not only helps you perform better cognitively, but also prevents dementia down the line. In fact, since exercise improves your sleep by giving you more time spent in DEEP sleep, then exercise also combats dementia that way.

Overall, keeping your heart, lungs, and brain strong is worth way more than an extra three or four years on your life…especially when you consider that exercise takes time.

The value of exercise is more about its general physical, mental, and emotional benefits, of which there are many, especially when it comes to the mood-boosting effects of aerobic exercises like Piyo.

I am the Program Director for the live version of PiYo. These are awesome fat-burning workouts, they only take half an hour, and they’re FUN! So if you’re looking for an enjoyable way to meet that 150-minutes-a-week benchmark, why not lay down your mat, and work with me from the comfort of your house?

Harvard Health

Men’s Health


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