People may need to amp up their exercise times as the recommended 30 minutes per day duration may not be enough to fight off heart failure. In a new study, experts found that people may need to do as much as two to four times more than the minimum recommended physical activity in the U.S. and UK.

Previous studies have shown that there is an inverse link between the risk of heart of failure and physical activity. However, there have been no in-depth assessment that involves quantitative data to support the said association.

In the U.S. and UK, the recommended dose of physical activity is 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week or 30 minutes per day. In a new study, however, these numbers appear to be insufficient.

In the investigation, the researchers reviewed 12 previous studies that contain data about 370,460 men and women with different levels of exercise. For 15 years, the participants reported their daily activities thus enabling the authors to have an insight about the amounts of exercise that they were exerting.

The findings of the study showed that the participants who followed the exercise dose guidelines released by the American Heart Association, which 30 minutes per day, exhibited minimal decrease in their risk of developing heart failure.

Participants who worked out twice as much as the recommended duration exuded a 20 percent risk reduction while those who exercised four times than suggested had a 35 percent decline in heart failure risk.

"Walking 30 minutes a day as recommended in the U.S. physical activity guidelines may not be good enough," said Dr. Jarett Berry, a senior author of the study and an associate professor of internal medicine and clinical sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He added that way more exercise may be required to decrease heart failure risk.

Berry also said that although drastic improvements in coronary heart disease decline have been noted over the past 30 years, heart failure have not yet plummeted sufficiently.

Ambarish Pandey, one of the study authors, said future exercise guidelines should consider looking at their study results and possibly offer more efficient recommendations about the importance of more exercise for heart failure prevention.

The research may not be enough to modify the current guidelines for heart failure patients. Additional studies that randomly assign individuals to practice exercise more than the recommended doses are warranted. Nonetheless, the study results may still give clinicians more confidence in recommending increased amounts of physical activity to patients.

The study was published in the journal Circulation on Monday, Oct. 5.

Photo: Deane Rimerman | Flickr

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