According to researchers at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, the amount of exercise may be more important than how hard you exercise in terms of heart health.
To study the effects of different amounts and intensities of exercise, researchers randomly assigned 133 overweight sedentary men and women who were showing signs of rising cholesterol levels to 7 to 9 months of either no exercise, low amount/moderate intensity exercise, low amount/vigorous intensity exercise or high amount/vigorous intensity exercise. The study participants did not alter their diet during the study.
After the 7 to 9 month period, all of the participants who did any sort of exercise had improvements in peak oxygen consumption and time to exhaustion – two established markers of fitness.
However, the vigorous intensity exercisers did not get any ‘fitter’ than the moderate intensity exercisers, suggesting it is the quantity and not the intensity of exercise that is beneficial in terms of heart health.These latest findings are published in the journal CHEST.
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