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Exercise and Longevity

Updated on November 07, 2010

Yes, we know that exercise is good for us: it's great for the cardiovascular system, it helps keep our weight down, and it lifts our mood (having to wash sweaty workout clothes is a small price to pay). Recent research actually provides some indicative numbers:

  • exercise moderately and you'll live 1.3 years longer than your sedentary cohorts
  • exercise vigorously and expect to live 3.5 years longer

Cardiovascular disease was avoided for 1.1 and 3.2 years longer, respectively, as well. Naturally, these are statistical findings, and an exercise regimen isn't going to necessarily translate to these exact extensions to your lifespan, but you get the picture.

The study is the result of interviews with some of the 5200 residents of Framingham, Massachusetts, who participated in the Framingham Heart study. The research's authors, including Dr. Oscar Franco-Duran of the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, analyzed the life span of participants who engaged in moderate exercise (defined as the equivalent of walking half an hour, five days a week) and more vigorous exercise (running for the same time and frequency) and found that both extended peoples' life span, mostly because it delayed the onset of cardiovascular disease. In addition to increasing overall physical well-being, reducing stress, and lowering the incidence of Alzheimer's disease, it appears exercise has a measurable benefit to those of us interested in living longer, healthier lives.

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      Iðunn 9 years ago

      another good one. I tend to go in exercise "phases". I don't for a while, start to watch my legs slip or my waist thicken, then go into an exercise phase for a few months. when I don't procrastinate and actually do exercise a lot, it really does lift my spirits generally as well. one would think that would be enough incentive but usually once I get offtracked I stay offtracked until I notice physical differences again. lolz :p

      great hub~

    • livelonger profile image
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      Jason Menayan 9 years ago from San Francisco

      Ha ha...I think everyone can understand those phases, Idunn. I have lapsed myself plenty of times even though, like you, I always feel better when I'm on a regular exercise regimen.

    • profile image

      Iðunn 9 years ago

      you actually seem to me as almost terrifyingly healthy and it has kind of intimidated me a bit from going through your hubs. it's fun to read you are as human as I too, now less intimidating. :D

      thx for shaing that. I feel less worried about not measuring up. :p I know that was me and not something you intended, nonetheless you are very well-versed in health information and I'm very lacksidaisal about it. I suppose I feel a bit guilty for that lack, is the source. hehe

    • livelonger profile image
      Author

      Jason Menayan 9 years ago from San Francisco

      I have an interest in health and am pretty healthy when you look at my blood metrics, but I have my health woes like anyone. :) I am just interested in health and longevity issues because I'm one of those people who never seems to find enough time in the day to do all the things I want (I'm almost never bored), I'm curious about just about everything, and want to be able to enjoy life until the Grim Reaper comes knockin'.

      But I slack off and enjoy Pringles and ice cream every now and then. I couldn't be a stickler even if I tried!

    • profile image

      Iðunn 9 years ago

      even if you didn't slack off you would remain quite likeable, but I'm glad you do the occasional pringles and ice cream. :) 

      will admit, you and I are alike in another way. I am almost never bored either.

    • livelonger profile image
      Author

      Jason Menayan 9 years ago from San Francisco

      you're very sweet Idunn :-)

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 9 years ago from Central New Jersey

      Well, I guess I gotta get up off the couch and get some exercise--like all of you I feelsooooo much better when I do, but the hardest thing about going to the gym for me is tying my sneakers. I am a procrastination pro:-) Thanks for the shot in the arm.

    • profile image

      Iðunn 9 years ago

      I could have a procrastination contest with you, Robie, but possibly we would never actually get it started. :D

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 9 years ago from Central New Jersey

      ya think? I myself have a black belt in procrastination:-) I was going to take a walk but then I went off on an excursion with a friend instead--oh well

    • profile image

      Iðunn 9 years ago

      I could best you in tangenting off as avoidance too. :D In fact, the only time I get things done is when I'm feeling guilty for avoiding something I want to do less. I'm actually remarkably consistent that way. :)

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