DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The results of a new study may encourage some of us to go above and beyond when it comes to regular exercise.

We know getting regular physical activity can lower a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease and dying early.

“There’s a lot of reasons to engage in physical activity. It doesn’t have to be onerous; it doesn’t have to be tedious or difficult. There are so many ways that you can get started,” said Dr. Will Yancy, Director of the Duke Lifestyle and Weight Management Center. 

Now a new study in the journal “Circulation” finds adults who get more than the recommended amount of daily exercise each week have the lowest risk of death.

Under the current American Heart Association guidelines, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or some combination of both each week.

“That’s an important outcome for many of us. We’re trying to live longer and to find out that you can exercise and lengthen your life is really important,” Yancy said. 

The new study looked at data and medical records of more than 100,000 people over 30 years. Adults who engaged in double the recommended amount of either moderate or vigorous physical activity had the lowest long-term risk of death.

In the study walking, lower-intensity exercise, weightlifting and calisthenics were considered moderate activity. Jogging, running, swimming, bicycling and other aerobic exercises were considered vigorous.

“With exercise you will get more benefits, this study shows that you will get more benefits if you are able to do more,” Yancy said. “That can be a longer duration, that can be more frequent during the week and that can be going faster while you’re doing it.”

The National Institutes of Health funded the study.  

Researchers found no harmful cardiovascular health effects among adults who performed more than four times the recommended minimum activity levels. They say this finding may reduce concerns of previous studies about possible harms in engaging in high levels of physical activity.