Everyone knows that regular exercise can help you lose weight and look good, but can it actually extend your life? According to prominent research studies published in peer-reviewed journals in recent years the answer is a resounding yes.
Link between exercise and reduced mortality rates
In a 2011 article appearing in The Lancet, Taiwanese researchers conducted a study involving more than 400,000 participants of varying ages and activity levels. The findings revealed that test subjects who exercised for as little as 15 minutes a day or 90 minutes a week—considered “low activity” for the purposes of the study—reduced their mortality rate by 14% compared to inactive individuals and could expect to live an average of three years longer. Moreover, the researchers discovered that for every 15 minutes of weekly activity beyond the minimum baseline, mortality rates were reduced by an additional 4%.
Then a 2012 Public Library of Science (PLOS) paper got even more specific about how exercise can help people live longer. In a study of more than 650,000 participants, researchers concluded that individuals who engaged in at least 150 minutes of moderately vigorous activity per week could expect to extend their lives by seven minutes for every one minute of exercise they performed. In other words, 150 minutes of exercise can help you live 1050 minutes longer.
Additional benefits of regular exercise
If the staggering 1-to-7 return on time investment isn’t enough to convince you that regular exercise is a must, consider the following additional health benefits that can be had:
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Stabilized blood sugar levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia
- Stronger bones and joints, which can ward off osteoporosis, arthritis, and similar ailments
- Reduced risk of diabetes
- Lower odds of stroke and faster post-stroke recovery
As you can see, a consistent exercise regimen can do far more than simply whittle your waistline and help your clothes fit better. Engaging in moderate activity every day can provide you with a host of health benefits and literally add years to your life, so get moving right now!