For a long time we have heard that 30' of moderate intensity exercise a day is sufficient to promote general cardiovascular health. Even the government agreed and said as much in a 2008 publication. Well the times are changing and now it seems that this is no longer true.
New research suggests that we need to exercise at least twice as long in order to ward off heart disease. Reviewing the records of over 370,000 people for an average of 13 years the investigators found that people who exercised 30' a day experienced only modest reductions in the risk of heart failure. Doubling the time to an hour a day resulted in a 20% lower risk, and those who exercised four times as much registered a 35% drop.
This research poses an issue for those of us who are looking for a way of life that balances time spent exercising with other lifestyle choices. The balance leans heavily toward the need to exercise more in order to maximize cardiovascular benefits. Each of us needs to decide how much time we can devote to exercise.