Good news if you take a more leisurely approach to your workouts: a recent study found that people who performed harder workouts didn’t live any longer, on average, when compared with people who did more moderate workouts. Researchers studied a group of people in Norway who participated in five years of supervised exercise training.
The participants included 790 women and 777 men (with an average age of 73), divided into three groups. Everyone followed federal recommendations to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week. But in addition to that, one group received two supervised weekly sessions of high-intensity interval training. A second group added two supervised moderate-intensity continuous training workouts per week. All three groups continued their assigned workouts for five years.
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At the conclusion of the trial, 4.6% of the participants had died, but there was no significant difference in death rates between the group that followed the modest federal exercise recommendations and the two groups that did the more intense workouts. In addition, all groups had similar levels of cardiovascular disease and deaths from cancer.
However, that’s not to say that participating in regular high-intensity workouts wasn’t linked to any benefits. The participants who did the harder workouts had better outcomes on certain measures of mental health and physical fitness.
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Dr. Carl -Chip- Lavie, Professor of Medicine in the Department of Cardiovascular Diseases at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, Ochsner Clinical School and the University of Queensland School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, in an Editorial appearing in the September 2014 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, clarifies the difference between elite and extreme athletes, and demonstrates that more is not better with regard to exercise. Peak benefits are gained from 30-40 and less than 60 minutes daily of moderate exercise. Available at: http://tinyurl.com/nu74s77