The endless question we get all the time: How much exercise do I need? And how intense must it be? The reason people ask, I suspect, is that they hope to hear that there is some ten-minutes-of-aerobics miracle that will spare them the nasty necessity of working out much at all. And there are plenty of “experts” who are prepared to feed that appetite. BUT THAT’S BALONEY.
SO… the truth once again. More is better, up to a point so far off the charts that you don’t have to worry about it. AND intensity (read that horrible Interval training) garners major rewards.
Younger Next Year and The Exercise Book Right Again
There are new studies – supporting the rules in Younger Next Year – in a recent issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Assn (I got it out of the Tufts Letter). They studied about a zillion people over a long stretch. And, sure enough: ANY exercise is way better than none. And those who go from “bone idle” to some damn thing still get the biggest gains (a 20% decrease in mortality).
But that ain’t you babe. You’re way past that point, I hope, and the point for you is that MORE is better. The U.S. government guidelines (dating back to 2008) urge either 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise. The latter is only 30 minutes, five times a week. That’s about half of what we urge in Younger Next Year and in our Exercise Book. Read on.
The new studies agree with YNY. Go to 300 minutes a week (six days times 50 minutes) and your mortality risk drops 31%. And that’s what you should do. Go to 450-750 minutes a week and there is a further slight gain. But after that nothing. SO… we are happy to repeat what we told you long ago: Do 45-60 minutes of vigorous exercise, six days a week and you’re a champ. Even more is slightly better, but the hell with it. A lot more can be dangerous. But don’t worry about “going for it” some of the time. Intervals are wonderful, if you can bear to do them. There you go. Back to work. Hey… it’s only for the rest of your life. And a sweet life it’s going to be, too. Chris
So herés a question, can you build muscle at 77, or just keep what you have?
Many thanks Chris
I’m curious about how important it is that my 50 to 60 minutes of exercise each day be consecutive. Today I rode my bicycle to the store and back. 20 minutes in 2 pieces. I raked and bagged leaves for 35 vigorous minutes and I’ll go for a 20 minute walk after dinner. Does that count as 75 minutes or is it less valuable because of the breaks between?
It does not have to be continuous Chris