If you're among of the millions of Americans who dutifully carve out 30 minutes a day for the moderate-intensity exercise recommended by experts some disappointing news.
A new analysis published Monday in the journal Circulation finds that that amount of activity may not be good enough.
For the paper, researchers reviewed 12 studies involving 370,460 men and women with varying levels of physical activity. Over a mean follow-up time of 15 years, this group experienced 20,203 heart failure events. Each of the participants self-reported their daily activities, allowing the team to estimate the amount of exercise they were doing.
They found that those following the 30-minutes-a-day guidelines issued by the American Heart Association had "modest reductions" in heart failure risk compared to those who did not work out at all.
But those who exercised twice and four times as much had "a substantial risk reduction" of 20 percent and 35 percent, respectively.
The findings challenge the notion of a 30-minutes-a-day magic number for exercise. Instead, research found that physical activity and heart failure may be what they called "dose dependent," meaning that higher levels of physical activity appeared to be linked to a lower risk of heart failure. That association appeared to hold across age groups, gender and race.
Jarett D. Berry, senior author of the study and an associate professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, said the study shows that physicians and health policymakers should consider making stronger recommendations for greater amounts of physical activity to prevent heart failure.