The road to a healthy heart is as easy as doing 30-minute workouts a day

By Ea Francisco

If you can sacrifice 30 minutes away from your computer, then you have time for exercise.

A new study by the Circulation journal shows that you only really need 30 minutes of exercise a day to reap health benefits. The study observed a group of 61 middle-aged sedentary individuals undergo a two-year exercise program. It started out with three 30-minute moderate exercises a week to get them adjusted. They gradually increased until they were able to do five moderate workouts a week and two HIIT days.

The results show that regular exercise improved overall oxygen intake and lessened cardiac stiffness, which leads to heart failure. Aging, alongside a sedentary lifestyle, can naturally lead to heart stiffening but having consistent exercise can alleviate this.

By doing at least 30 minutes, you’re also more likely to follow through with the program. According to a similar study, those who did 30 minutes a day had more energy and felt more motivated to exercise every day as opposed to those who did an hour a day. Frequency of training is just as important as how long the sessions are.

As expected, the kind of workout done plays an important role. The good thing about this though is that you only really need to go all out a couple days a week. The study recommends HIIT workouts at least once a week and one or two sessions of moderate level exercise. It also suggests you have at least two days of weight and strength training to build muscle.

If the goal is to maintain fitness and health, then doing 30 minutes is just enough. But if your goal is to lose weight, then you may need to aim for a little more than that. The point of health maintenance is to make sure you raise your heart rate a little each day and maybe break a little sweat. Whatever you choose, it’s important to make sure you do it regularly and consistently.