A study has found that exercising for 8 minutes every day at an intensity enough to make you out of breath is helpful enough to maintain your health. This is a recent report by WebMD, a health medicine portal, based on a paper by Australian and Danish American researchers published in the European Heart Association’s European Heart Journal (EHJ).
Based on the health records of 71,000 fitness bands registered in the British Biobank, the research team tracked their health status for an average of 5.9 years. As a result, they found that just 50 to 57 minutes of vigorous exercise a week, 8 minutes a day, could reduce the risk of premature death by 36% and the risk of heart disease by 35%.
According to the research team, more exercise time naturally improves health, but intense exercise even for a short time increases blood pressure and contracts plaque (cell debris) that clogs arteries, improving overall health.
The standard for vigorous exercise is not as high as you might think. All it takes is physical activity that is six times the basal metabolic rate (MET), which is the metabolic rate when you are resting. All it takes is dancing in a nightclub or carrying groceries upstairs.
The first author of the paper, postdoctoral researcher Matthew Ahmadi, University of Sydney, Australia, said, “To get the maximum effect in the minimum amount of time, the goal is to exercise for 2 minutes to reach 77% or more of one’s maximum heart rate recorded on the heart rate tracking device. “If you’re breathing so hard that you can’t hold a conversation or speak in full sentences, in other words, if you’re out of breath, then you’re doing vigorous exercise.”
He said, “It is more effective for health management to exercise short and thick than to exercise long and thin,” he said. “It can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce body inflammation, and reduce the risk of certain cancers.”
The research team said that it is realistic to encourage people who do not have enough time to exercise to exercise enough to be out of breath even for 8 minutes a day.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes of “moderate intensity” exercise each week, such as brisk walking. For vigorous exercise such as running, 75 minutes or more per week is recommended. In addition to these aerobic exercises, it is recommended to do strength-strengthening exercises such as dumbbells twice a week. According to the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), 54% of Americans do aerobic exercise for 150 minutes or more each week. Those who do strength training twice a week fall to 24%.