Weekly exercise sufficient for health

Oslo: It only takes one bout of exercise each week to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to new research from Norway.

One intense bout of exercise a week lowered the risk of death by 51 per cent in women and 39 per cent in men, in the study carried out by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and St Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim.

The scientists also discovered that increasing the amount of exercise did not improve results.

The findings are the result of a 16-year study in which cardiologists investigated how the amount and intensity of exercise was linked to death in 27,143 men and 28,929 women.

At the end of the study period 10.8 per cent of the men, and 8.6 per cent of the women had died from heart disease or stroke. When the researchers looked at the subjects’ exercise history, they found that a single weekly bout of exercise of high intensity reduced the risk of cardiovascular death compared with those who reported no activity.

The researchers condluded that the results challenge the current recommendation that expenditure of at least 1,000 kcal per week is required to achieve exercise-induced protection.