New Study Reveals Optimal Exercise Combination for Dramatic Reduction in Mortality Risk
Physical activity (PA) guidelines for health have traditionally recommended moderate to vigorous aerobic activities (e.g., walking, running, swimming...). Due to growing evidence of its health benefits, institutions such as the World Health Organisation have included muscle-strengthening exercises at least two days a week among their recommendations. Just doing aerobic exercise is not adequate. However, the optimal combination of these activities needed to lower mortality risk remained unknown.
This changed after a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that the optimal combination for reducing overall mortality risk was more than 0 to 75 minutes of moderate PA, more than 150 minutes of vigorous PA, and at least 2 sessions of muscle strengthening per week. To reduce the cardiovascular mortality risk, the optimal combination included more than 150 to 225 minutes of moderate PA, more than 0 to 75 minutes of vigorous PA, and 2 or more sessions of muscle strengthening per week. Additionally, for cancer mortality risk, the importance of more than 300 minutes of moderate PA, more than 0 to 75 minutes of vigorous PA, and 2 or more sessions of muscle-strengthening exercises per week was highlighted. In conclusion, balanced levels of moderate and vigorous aerobic PA, and muscle-strengthening PA combined may be associated with a 50% lower rate for overall and cancer mortality and a threefold lower rate for cardiovascular disease mortality. These findings may be used to fine tune may current PA guidelines for health.
Author: Javier S. Morales; University of Cadiz.
1. López-Bueno, R.; Ahmadi, M.; Stamatakis, E.; Yang, L.; del Pozo Cruz, B. Prospective Associations of Different Combinations of Aerobic and Muscle-Strengthening Activity With All-Cause, Cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality. JAMA Intern. Med. 2023, doi:10.1001/JAMAINTERNMED.2023.3093.