The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise, or a combination of both.
Being inactive was just found to be as deadly as lighting up, diabetes or heart disease
You try to work out when you can, right? But sometimes you just can't make the time. Or maybe you'd simply rather crash on the couch and fire up Netflix. Hey, we've all been there. But this news might motivate you to get up and go to the gym. Because according to the latest science, skipping regular workouts can be as bad for you as such infamous health enemies as smoking, diabetes or heart disease. And in some cases, not exercising can be even more deadly.
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic conducted a comprehensive study which observed more than 122,000 patients who participated in treadmill testing between 1991 and 2014. Dr. Wael Jaber, a cardiologist with the Cleveland Clinic and lead author of the study, was surprised by the findings, since it's the traditional risk factors like high blood pressure or cholesterol that typically get most of the blame and attention.
Of course, it's not news that exercise is good for you. But it is somewhat surprising just how bad inactivity really is for us. Multiple studies have not only touted the benefits to regular exercise, but that people not just in the US, but worldwide, aren't getting enough these days. Last month, a study from the World Health Organization found 1.4 billion people globally are physically inactive, putting them at risk for a slew of diseases.
"Aerobic fitness is something that most patients can control," said Dr. Jaber. "And what we found is an across the board benefit with every age group, both sexes, and in individuals with and without heart disease."
For the Cleveland Clinic study, the researchers separated the patients into five groups based on their fitness level: low, below average, above average, high and elite. "And we found in our study there is no limit to how much exercise is too much," said Dr. Jaber. The fittest people in the study (those in the elite group) showed the lowest overall mortality risk. Across the spectrum, the elite participants had an 80 percent lower risk of mortality than the low-activity group. The bottom line? If you want to live a long, healthy life, then make sure you get off your ass and get active. And do it often. Making time to exercise can be a drag sometimes, but consider the alternative.