Exercise and Longevity
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.