Any activity benefits your heart – but the more you do the better

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New research from Taiwan has investigated the minimum amount of physical activity that you need to do to live a longer, healthier life – and the findings show 90 minutes a week is enough.

The study involving 400,000 people shows that being physically active for an hour and half each week could reduce someone’s risk of death by 14 per cent and increases life expectancy by three years compared with inactive people. Being active for that duration could help those at risk of heart disease too, according to the researchers.

We say at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, on five or more days a week, is most beneficial for heart health.

 Maureen Talbot, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said:

“This research was encouraging because it showed that even exercising for 15 minutes a day at a low intensity is still better than doing nothing. It could prove helpful for anyone who finds exercise daunting and needs some motivation, especially as getting started can be the hardest part.

“However, the findings also showed the more exercise you do, the better. Everyone should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on five or more days a week. Try doing something you enjoy because you’ll probably exercise for longer and that will be even better for your heart health.

“It should be easy for everyone to get active and that means we need safe routes to walk and cycle to work, opportunities to be active at lunchtime and affordable ways to enjoy sport and recreation.”

The study was published online in the Lancet.

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