In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in August 2023, researchers analyzed data from over 500,000 participants to see how different forms of exercise related to a person’s mortality risk.
The study looked at the effect of moderate aerobic physical activity, such as walking or gentle cycling, vigorous aerobic physical activity, such as running, and muscle-strengthening activity, like weight lifting.
The findings indicated that a balanced combination of all of these forms of exercise worked best for reducing mortality risk.
More specifically, around 75 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, plus more than 150 minutes of vigorous exercise, alongside at least a couple of strength training sessions per week were associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality.
When it came to reducing the risk of death linked to cardiovascular disease specifically, the researchers suggested combining a minimum of 150–225 minutes of moderate physical activity with around 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, and two or more strength training sessions per week.
But what about people who are not nearly as athletic? What is the minimum “amount” of exercise that could help fend off some of the conditions that pose the highest threat to health?
Research suggests that engaging in vigorous exercise for only 2 minutes a day could help slash the risk of death related to cancer or cardiovascular events.