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You Actually Need Way More Exercise a Week Than We Thought

For optimal health, experts believed 1.5 hours a week was enough; but the new prescription suggests you need 5x that amount.
Matthew Hawthorne

We’ve been told by the scientific medical establishment that, to keep our bodies as healthy and disease-free as possible, we should do about 11⁄4 hours of vigorous exercise (like running) or 21⁄2 hours of moderate exercise (like brisk walking) every week.

Sound about right? Not on your life—in fact, it’s just been revealed that those numbers may be mind-bogglingly off-base.

According to a new analysis of 174 studies done between 1980 and 2016, you actually need to do six to eight hours of vigorous exercise a week to reduce your risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, the BMJ reports. And if you’re a moderate exerciser, you need to level up to 15–20 hours a week—or, at a “brisk walking” pace of 3.5 mph, about 52–70 miles.

Sound like too far to go for lifelong health? You could always just find the nearest graveyard and take a few strolls around that.

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