Intense Physical Activity Can Help Undo Damage From an Unhealthy Lifestyle

The science behind Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI) proves that high intensity exercise is the key to heart health.

“You can be pretty unhealthy and sedentary, but working out will offset a lot of it,” said Reidar Hagen, analyst and statistician at PAI Health. “The amazing thing about working out is that if you workout and hit proper intensity, it doesn’t matter if you’re overweight or if you spent 20 hours watching Netflix.” 


Basically, even if you have unhealthy habits, you can still have a healthy heart if you exercise.  


“It’s not a matter of reaching a ‘perfect lifestyle’,” he added. 


As you get past middle age, being active is even more important. 


“As you reach 50 and 60 years old, fitness becomes increasingly important to keep your body healthy and increase longevity,” he said. “Getting half-an-hour of a real strenuous exercise can undo the damage from an unhealthy lifestyle. The more unhealthy you are, the more important it is to do physical activity.”


What is considered ‘intense exercise’ will vary greatly from person to person. For an inactive person who is medically obese, reaching intense activity (heart beating fast, possibly sweating), may mean walking to the mailbox everyday or parking far away from the entrance of the grocery store. For an active person, this might mean adding cardio into your workout routine. And everyone--at all levels of physical fitness can earn PAI doing daily activities. Although the best way to earn a lot of PAI is to do activities that get your heart pumping fast and keep it at that rate for a period of time. 


PAI was developed from the HUNT study, one of the longest running health studies ever conducted. 


One of the key take-aways from the study is this: you can be sedentary, you can eat unhealthy foods, you can even be overweight but if you exercise at a high intensity on a regular basis, you can have a healthy and long life. 


“The research is very clear on this,” Reidar said. 


To Recap


Doing high intensity training gives you the following benefits: 

  • General across-the-board health improvements 
  • Attenuates risk factors, including: being overweight, sitting too much and eating unhealthy foods



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Data from the HUNT study was used to develop and validate PAI as an effective tool in prescribing personalized amounts of life-extending physical activity. It was determined that if a person achieved and maintained 100 weekly PAI, they would lower their risk of cardiovascular disease