We know that regularly exercise has a lot of health benefits. But what is the minimum amount of exercise required for optimal health, given everyone’s busy lifestyle? A pooled analysis of available evidence found that 30-60 minutes of muscle-strengthening activity each week is linked to a 10-20% reduction in the risk of death from all causes and from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer , in particular. The study was published in the “British Journal of Sports Medicine”. Results are independent of aerobic exercise. But the analysis shows a J-shaped curve for most outcomes, with no conclusive evidence that more than an hour a week of muscle-building activity further reduces risk. Physical activity guidelines recommend regular muscle-strengthening activities for adults, primarily because of the known health benefits to skeletal muscle. Examples of these activities include lifting weights; working out with resistance bands; shoes, sit ups, and squats; and intensive gardening, such as digging and shoveling. The combination of muscle strengthening and aerobic activities may provide greater benefit in reducing all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and total cancer mortality.
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