Why intense exercise is so good for the heart
A study by six scientists published in the European Heart Journal revealed that intense exercise has more benefits for the heart than previously thought. In fact, they claim that 15-20 minutes a week of such exercise is enough to reduce mortality by 16-40%.
It is no news that exercise is good for health in general and for the heart in particular, as a sedentary lifestyle is associated with various cardiovascular diseases, among other harms.
However, the novelty is that the figure given by these researchers is lower than some commonly given recommendations, such as the US Department of Health and Human Services, which sets this recommendation at 75 minutes per week. Thus, the study shows that the benefits of intense exercise are more powerful than previously thought.
A large-scale study provides important data
The study, published just a few weeks ago, looked at nearly 72,000 people. The participants were fitted with a kind of 'tracker' to collect all the information about the level of intensity of the exercise they were doing. In this way, they were able to find out what kind of exercise they were doing much more accurately than with traditional questionnaires, which can miss some physical activities.
Once the information was collected, they cross-checked data: on the one hand, the frequency and intensity of exercise; on the other hand, the development of cardiovascular diseases over a period of almost seven years.
After analysing the results, they concluded that the risk of cardiovascular disease was very significantly reduced in people who performed moderate and intense exercise frequently.
On the other hand, those who exercised more intensively were those who had lower levels of cardiovascular disease.