It is the start of a New Year and one of the most common goals set for the a new year is usually a pledge to go to exercise regularly. There is even more motivation coming our way: “People who engage in moderate-to-vigorous exercise 2.5 hours weekly live longer.”
Ian Janssen, Ph.D., led a team from Queen’s University in Ontario,Canada and did a study on exercise and its links to longer life, and found that “Exercise can partially reverse the effects of the aging process … a minimum quantity and quality of exercise decreases the risk of death, prevents development of certain cancers, lowers the risk of osteoporosis, and increases longevity.”
They compared American health statistics from 1990 to 2006, including death rates and surveys about people’s physical activity patterns at the time they were contacted.
This enabled them to compare the life expectancy at each age for adults who were inactive, somewhat-active, and active.
“Active” was defined as doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, which equals about 20 minutes per day.
Active and “somewhat-active” non-Hispanic black men showed “signifıcant” increases in longevity.
White men and women active at age 80 gained about 1.2 and 1.6 years, respectively.
Non-Hispanic black women gained about 5.5 years.
Women active at age 20 gained about 3 years.
Men active at age 20 gained about 2.4 years.
The results suggest that moderate exercise of about 20 minutes a day can add years of life.
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