Fitness Tips

This Is Exactly How Much Vigorous Exercise You Need Each Week for Longevity

Kells McPhillips

Photo: Getty Images/adamkaz
The more is more exercise mentality is dead and gone—and we’re all better for it. The truth is, you don’t need to squeeze in an hour of vigorous exercise every day to maximize the benefits that come with breaking a sweat. On the contrary, a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that those who engage in moderate or vigorous exercise 150 minutes per week had lower all-cause mortality. Meaning, you only need about 22 minutes of heart-pumping fitness a day to reap the longevity benefits.

To decide the optimal time to work out each week, researchers reviewed data gathered from 403,000 adults participating in the National Health Interview Survey (which ran from 1997 to 2013). They then combed the self-reported physical activity of this pool of adults to see what exercise habits matched up with a longer lifespan and lower incidence of disease. And once the scientists crunched the numbers, it turned out that those who had a higher proportion of vigorous physical activity (like running or HIIT) compared to total amount of exercise showed a lower risk of early death from all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, and cancer mortality.

Long story, short: Exercisers who rounded out their routines with at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise had the greatest chance of living a long, healthy life. And that proved especially true for those who tended toward the more vigorous side of the spectrum. (So, those who ran instead of walked; or cycled instead of participating in casual bike rides). That’s not to say more restorative, low-impact workouts like yoga or Pilates don’t have a spot on your workout rountine. It just means they work better when you’re using them to supplement that heart-thrumming workout routine.

In order to help you hit that 150-minute goal, we rounded up nine of our best YouTube cardio videos that you can sprinkle throughout your week to hit that quota. Grab your sweat towel and let’s get to work.

The 150 minutes of vigorous exercise you need for the week

Minute 1-6: Warm up

Let’s get started by warming up those muscles. You’re in good hands with Nike Master Trainer Traci Copeland.

Minute 7-32: No equipment HIIT and core workout

Today, it’s all about core, core, core. Grab a mat and you’re ready to go.

Minute 32-57: HIIT Cardio

Barry’s serves up some of the hardest studio fitness classes around, and now, you can experience the burn at home.

Minute 57-72: Tabata workout

Mix up your HIIT workouts with Tabata: a specific style that asks you to put your maximum effort in for four whole minutes before you get to rest.

Minute 72-97: Lower Body HIIT workout

It’s leg day! You’ll sprint through squats, lunges, and other moves that will you leave your lower body screaming (in the best way).

Minute 97-112: Runner’s HIIT workout

Time to mix things up. Hop on a treadmill and move through a handful of intervals designed to spike your heart rate.

Minute 112-127: Dancer abs workout

Who says ab work has to happen on the floor? With this quick dance workout, you won’t even notice you’re working your center.

Minute 128-146: Lower body dance workout

Keep the beat—but let’s focus on the lower body.

Minute 147-153: Runner’s cool down

Phew. You did it! Now, take a break and give yourself a well-earned high five. You did it, fam.

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