Intense Workouts May Make You Live Longer, Study Finds

Exercise is critical to a healthy life. No one would argue that point, right? But just how much exercise we need is a point that always seems to be argued. And what’s more, the benefits of intense workouts have also been hot topics for debate recently. Well now, new research points to significant benefits to vigorous exercise.

According to the research, published in the recent issue of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that people who exercised “vigorously” for 30 percent of their workout time, had a nine percent decreased risk of early death, and people who exercised vigorously more than 30 percent of the time reduced their risk by as much as 13 percent.

Researcher out of James Cook University and the University of Sydney tracked the health of more than 200,000 subjects age 45 and older over the course of nearly seven years, controlling for a number of health and lifestyle factors.

“The benefits of vigorous activity applied to men and women of all ages, and were independent of the total amount of time spent being active,” lead author Klaus Gebel told Forbes. “The results indicate that whether or not you are obese, and whether or not you have heart disease or diabetes, if you can manage some vigorous activity it could offer significant benefits for longevity.”

While most fitness guidelines say the benefits of vigorous exercise don’t vary between one and two minutes, the research indicates that may need to be reassessed. “The current physical activity guidelines from the World Health Organization, and those for the US, UK, Australia and other countries,” says Gebel, “recommend that adults should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity or a combination of both in which 1 minute of vigorous activity counts as much as 2 minutes of moderate activity. So these guidelines leave individuals to choose their activity patterns according to their preferences and abilities.”

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