How Much Exercise Do We Need for a Longer Life?

Most of the people we see here at Framework Personal Training in Reno are interested in improving their health and fitness to enjoy a better, longer life. But if the goal is a longer, healthier life, how much exercise is really necessary? Two studies have come up with an answer to the question, how much exercise do we need for a longer life?

A Look at 10,000 People Over Decades

Two studies tracked over 10,000 men and women over several decades, with researchers concluding that regular physical activity of the right kind and amount can reduce instances of premature death by a whopping 70%. Interestingly, it also appears that there’s a ceiling on that increase in longevity.

These studies are interesting because they dove into the specific question of how much movement is most associated with longer lifespans. One study focused on steps taken daily and found that those taking over 10,000 steps a day only rarely outlived those taking at least 7,000 steps. The second study looked at fitness beyond steps, including cycling, tennis, swimming, jogging, handball, weight lifting, soccer, badminton, and more. Researchers estimate that those in the study averaged 2.6 hours per week of these kinds of activities, or about 30 minutes a day, up to 4.5 hours. The first number is likely equivalent to the 7,000 to 8,000 steps per day, while the latter is closer to the 10,000-step mark. This is where benefits plateaued in both studies. But in the second study, there was actually a decline for people who worked out 10 hours a week or more, which is somewhere around 90 minutes a day.

In other words, the group with more than ten hours a week of activity lost one-third of the longevity benefits compared to people exercising between 2.6 and 4.5 hours. Keep in mind that these are both associational studies, which means there’s a link but not a direct cause and effect.

The takeaway for researchers, however, is that 30 to 45 minutes of activity most days should be a goal for us all. For older adults, incorporating functional training is a smart move. Unlike walking alone, this kind of training will help you build strength and improve flexibility and coordination, among other benefits.

It can be helpful to have a daily or weekly target for fitness, and a personal trainer offers additional advantages. In Reno, learn more about what the certified trainers at Framework can offer. Contact us today.

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