A new study suggests increased exercise consistently leads to better heart health. The study, conducted by the University of Oxford, found that even people who already exercise regularly can enjoy greater cardiovascular benefits by exercising more.
The study analyzed data collected from accelerometers worn by 90,211 participants; one week of data was analyzed from each participant. Researchers used the data to determine each participant’s physical activity level and, from there, correlated their physical activity with their cardiovascular health.
According to the study, people with high amounts of physical activity have roughly half the risk of cardiovascular disease compared with those with low amounts of physical activity. While participants with the most exercise enjoyed the greatest benefits, any amount of regular exercise resulted in better cardiovascular health. Vigorous exercise corresponded with the best cardiovascular benefits, though moderate exercise also provided considerable benefits.
Regular exercise has long been promoted for its positive cardiovascular effects, and the Oxford University study further confirms those effects. Yet, just one in three American adults receives the recommended amount of physical activity each week, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. So, how can we get more cardiovascular exercise?