There's a certain mindset that is tough to shake when it comes to working out — namely, that the harder you push, the healthier you'll be.
That doesn't, however, seem to be the findings of a massive global study (called PURE: Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology) that looked at the rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a variety of countries and settings, published in The Lancet last week.
The cohort study, which compared individuals with high, middle and low incomes in urban and rural settings, ranging in ages from 35 to 70, found that 150 minutes of exercise per week — or about 30 minutes a day — can prevent heart disease and death.
"If everyone was active for at least 150 minutes per week, over seven years a total of 8 per cent of deaths could be prevented," said Dr. Salim Yusuf, director of the Population Health Research Institute and the principal investigator of the overall PURE study, in a press release.
I would dispel the notion of having to put out money to be active.Dr. Scott Lear
Even more interestingly, the researchers emphasized that it's not expensive exercise programs that make the difference.
"I would dispel the notion of having to put out money to be active," lead author Dr. Scott Lear, a professor at Simon Fraser University, told Vox in an email. "Our findings indicate that nonrecreational activity — work, housework, active transportation — is just as beneficial in reducing the risk for premature death and heart disease."
Other recent studies have emphasized the importance of literally just moving your body in order to stay in optimal health (especially when you sit or even stand all day), but we appreciate the purely practical notion of getting exercise while also, say, getting rid of dust bunnies under our couch.
That's not to say, though, that other workouts geared towards specific body parts aren't important. Keeping your core strong, for example, can help relieve back pain, points out Best Health, while strength training can help protect your bones as you age, notes Everyday Health.
There's a literal workout you can do while cleaning your house.
Fitness professional Lindsey Gee has a literal workout you can do while cleaning your house, but if that isn't your thing, a good plan is to watch your posture as you go about tasks like washing dishes, or focus on the slow movement of your arm muscles as you go back and forth scrubbing a floor.
It's worth noting that in the PURE study, there didn't seem to be a ceiling of how much exercise would help reduce heart disease. So if traditional exercise is more your thing, there's certainly no harm in going that route either.
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