Do your typical workouts last around 30 minutes? Get your ass back in the gym. Half an hour of moderate-intensity exercise (which experts recommend) isn’t enough for your heart, according to research published in the journal Circulation.
Researchers reviewed 12 studies involving over 370,000 men and women with fluctuating levels of physical activity. Over a span of 15 years, this group suffered 20,203 heart failure events. Every participant self-reported their daily activities, though, allowing the team of researchers to come to the conclusion that those following the American Heart Association’s 30-minutes-a-day guidelines had “modest reductions” in heart failure risk compared to those who didn’t work out at all. However, those who exercised twice and four times as much had a “substantial risk reduction” of 20 percent and 35 percent, respectively.
Exercise and heart failure are “dose dependent,” according to the researchers, meaning the higher levels of physical activity are linked to lower risk of heart failure, regardless of age, gender, and race.
So, take care to spend that extra bit of time swimming, hiking, running, or whatever it is you love to do. And take extra care as you get older to stay active.