The health benefits of exercise are countless and no one can really deny that fact. It is generally recommended that people should partake of about 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of intense exercise per week. In addition, 2 or more days of strength training exercise per week is also recommended. A combination of both will provide many health benefits! (1)
However, some may wonder about the recommendations for exercise with patients that have heart disease, as well as medical and safety concerns. The good news is that there is a study that shows as little as one day per week can provide many benefits!
Coronary heart disease patients can safely exercise.
This is great news for people suffering from coronary heart disease! A study conducted at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Norway evaluated patients with heart disease and exercising just a mere one day a week can improve patient’s life expectancy. (2)
The study consisted of 3,500 men and women with coronary heart disease (CHD) over the course of 18 years. The data was collected in the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT), which is a population-based study launched in 1984 in mid-Norway. More than 100,000 people have participated in the study out of the total population of 130,000 inhabitants in the region. (2)
HUNT contains incredible information for researchers because it collaborates with national and international research organizations on many health issues we face today such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental illness, and so on. Additionally, the information collected was extensive, pertaining to medical, lifestyle, and environmental factors for various individuals. (2)
The finding shows that mortality actually decreased!
The study showed that mortality decreased by 30% among women and 20% among men who exercised once a week compared to those who did not. Additionally, this study is unique due to the fact that it consisted of women and older CHD and those women who exercise more than 30 minutes each time can decrease mortality by up to 50%! (3)
Trine Moholdt, a PhD student, states, “The most important finding was that CHD patients lived longer even though they exercised only once a week. The more intense the exercise the better.” (3)
The data collected proved to be very valuable. As Professor Kristian Hveem says, “It is satisfactory to see that the data we collected in 1984 are still a very valuable resource in research today. Also, in the most recent collection of HUNT data, completed in June 2008, we have applied a strick QA-protocol to make sure that the collected biological material has the best quality. This ensures its applicability for a wide variety of analyses in the years to come.” (2)
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