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It is universally known and accepted that regular exercise is important for good health and long life. But exactly how much exercise is required to reap these health benefits? Does one need to work out for an hour every day to gain these benefits? More importantly, exactly how much is the added benefit of longevity or good health?

It is certainly not possible to quantify the answer to these questions. Human body, health and life are far too complex for anyone to give such exact answers. But we do have the results of various scientific and research studies that give us a fair idea of what happens when we exercise.

Various studies have shown that regular exercise can prevent diseases like hypertension, high cholestrol, obesity and even Alzheimer’s!

A study published in Lancet says that just 15 minutes of daily exercise adds around 3 years to your life. It also cuts the risk of cancer and heart disease by 14%

Another study says that just 75 minutes of exercise in a week can add 1.8 years to your life. 300 minutes of exercise can increase your life by 3.4 years and weekly workout of 500 minutes can add 4.5 years to your life. 

Studies have shown that even light exercise like walking, when done for 30 minutes a day 5 times a week, can give great benefits.

A study published in the Journal of Amercian Medical Association has shown that even exercising only 2-3 times a week can give same benefits as exercising daily. So even if you cannot workout every day, don’t miss your weekend workouts. Weekend workouts can give you almost the same benefit as daily workouts.

The one thing all studies agree on is that exercise is good for you, even if not done daily. Do whatever you can, at whatever frequency works for you. Just get moving!


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Lavanya Mehra

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