It's something some of us love and some of us dread — exercise. Though we’re all aware of its positive benefits, the latest research still offers some surprise. A new report published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) finds that even small amounts of physical activity, including standing, is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

"The evidence with regard to exercise continues to unfold and educate the cardiovascular clinical community," said JACC Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Valentin Fuster, in a press release. "The greatest benefit is to simply exercise, regardless of the intensity, while the danger is two-fold: to not exercise at all or to exercise intensely, without due preparation."

The authors studied the intensity and amount of aerobic exercise that are most beneficial for cardiovascular health, and they found that moderate and vigorous exercise can decrease the mortality rate, especially for people in developed countries. Yet they also point out that cardiovascular benefits will level off at a certain point.

While previous research has shown exercise can reduce a person’s death related to cardiovascular disease, only half of Americans actually exercise for the recommended 150 minutes per week. Dr. Michael Scott Emery, co-author of the report and co-chair of the ACC Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council, attributes this to fears people have about exercising too much and by do so accidentally boosting their risk of cardiovascular disease. Aware of these concerns, the council believes further research is recommended.

Benefits Outweigh Risks

"The public media has embraced the idea that exercise may harm the heart and disseminated this message, thereby diverting attention away from the benefits of exercise as a potent intervention for the primary and secondary prevention of heart disease," said Emery.

Ultimately, the benefits of exercise outweigh the risks. In particular, patients who suffer from cardiovascular disease will gain by adding physical activity to their daily routines. Aalong with cardiovascular benefits, aerobics are known to promote a positive mental outlook.

"The available evidence should prompt clinicians to recommend strongly low and moderate exercise training for the majority of our patients," Emery said. "Equally important are initiatives to promote population health at large through physical activity across the lifespan, as it modulates behavior from childhood into adult life."

Cardiovascular exercises include circuit training, swimming, running, and biking. When done at least three times a week for an hour each day, these exercies prove to be amazingly beneficial in support of a person’s health, the research team concluded.

Source: Eijsvogels TMH, Molossi S, Lee DC, Emery MS, Thompson PD. Exercise at the ExtremesThe Amount of Exercise to Reduce Cardiovascular Events. JACC. 2016.