Step It Up: 30-Minute Exercise Isn't Enough

Researchers are encouraging people to exercise more for their heart health.
Researchers are encouraging people to exercise more for their heart health. (iStock photo )

The recommended 30 minutes of moderate exercise isn't enough to adequately reduce the risk of heart failure, according to a new study.

The findings, published in the journal Circulation, show people need to double or even quadruple that in order to reap the maximum health benefits. 

Researchers examined 12 studies, which suggest people should engage in more vigorous exercise for longer periods of time to get the heart health they desire.

Scientists observed nearly 400,000 men and women for a period of 15 years. The researchers discovered that people who exercised only 30 minutes a day experienced "modest reductions" in heart failure risk. But the group that exercised twice or four times as much experienced "a substantial risk reduction."

It appears that the more they exercised, the greater their heart health. People who exercised an hour a day had a 20 percent risk reduction and the people who exercised two hours a day experienced a 35 percent reduction.

Five million Americans currently suffer from heart failure, which is when the heart does not supply enough blood to the body.

Keep in mind, however, that any exercise is better than none at all. Increasing the duration and intensity of whatever you are during will most likely improve your health.

Research shows that even just 10 or 15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise can be beneficial.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that one minute of intense, cardiovascular exercise is equal to two minutes of moderate exercise. Cardiovascular exercise is movement that causes you to breathe heavily.

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