With 30 years of research and data behind their belt, a Harvard study has concluded that there is no additional benefit to doing more than 150 minutes of high intensity exercise a week when it comes to prolonging your life.
For the new research, researchers analysed 30 years of medical records and mortality data for over 100,000 adults enrolled in two large studies: the all-female Nurses’ Health Study and all-male Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The data included self-reported measures of leisure time physical activity intensity and duration. Participants were an average 66 years old.
The study found that participating in around 75 to 150 minutes a week of high intensity exercise drastically decreased the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by an incredible 21%! The study also went on to show that those participants who engaged in over twice as much weekly activity (over 150 minutes of vigorous activity) did not get any additional benefit for their struggle. These findings were published on July 25 in the American Heart Association’s peer-reviewed journal Circulation.
Previous studies have suggested that, over time, high-intensity endurance training and competitions – such as running marathons, competing in Ironman triathlons, or doing endurance bicycle races – may increase someone’s risk of adverse cardiovascular events.
However, this latest peer-reviewed analysis found that doing two to four times more than the recommended weekly exercise guidelines doesn’t increase someone’s risk of these cardiovascular events.
“This finding may reduce the concerns around the potential harmful effect of engaging in high levels of physical activity observed in several previous studies” the Harvard researchers noted in Circulation.