Exercise is one of those fascinating things in life that must be done in “just enough, but not too much,” fashion. To wit, in this paper from the Mayo Clinic proceedings, researchers reinforce the principle that while any exercise helps to reduce morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease (and, never forget that what’s good for the heart is good for other things too), the biggest bang for the buck comes in the next increment up. To put these data into context, 1000 MET minutes/week is achievable as follows: about 2.75 hours of cycling at 10 mph; a little over 3 hours of fast walking (4 mph or 15 min/mile); about 100 minutes of jogging at 6 mph (10 min/mile). By my calculation, I get over 3,000 MET minutes per week. Yeah, I’d say I’ve done all I can to reduce my risk.
These findings demonstrate a curvilinear relationship between lifelong exercise patterns and cardiovascular morbidity. Low exercise doses can effectively reduce CVD/CVRF prevalence, but engagement in exercise for 764 to 1091 MET-min/wk is associated with the lowest CVD/CVRF prevalence. Higher exercise doses do not yield additional benefits.