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Elderly People Who Exercise Regularly Live Longer, Study Finds

Elderly Exercise

Elderly folks who exercise daily for just 30 minutes can greatly increase their life expectancy and general health not to mention, the effects of exercise in old age are just as strong as giving up smoking, according to a recent study.

According to the study, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, scientists from Oslo University Hospital analyzed 5,700 elderly men in Norway, ages 68 to 77, over the course of 11 years. The results showed that those who exercised for 3 hours a week lived around five years longer than the sedentary.

A minimal amount of vigorous exercise a week, such as hard training or playing competitive sports for half an hour, can cut the risk of dying from any cause by a third. However, researchers saw no reduction in the risk of dying from any cause in those who engaged in less than an hour a week of light activity.

An unrelated study led by Australian researchers from James Cook University and the University of Sydney suggests that intense exercise is more beneficial than light exercise because it reduces the risk of mortality effectively increasing one’s lifespan.

Professor Ingar Holme, lead author of the study recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, was quoted by the Daily Mail as having said, “Even when men were 73 years of age on average at start of follow-up, active persons had five years longer expected lifetime than the sedentary. Increased physical activity was as beneficial as smoking cessation in reducing all-cause mortality.”

Increased physical activity was as beneficial as smoking cessation in reducing mortality.

According to the BBC, the British Heart Foundation published a report in which the foundation warns that people aren’t getting enough exercise. Adults from Portugal are the least active with an astounding 69 percent of them failing to engage in any moderate exercise. The Poles are second with 55 percent, and France and the UK next in line with 46 and 44 percent respectively. The Dutch on the other hand are doing relatively well where only 14 percent of their adults are inactive.

“Regular physical activity, whatever your age, is beneficial for your heart health and ultimately can help you live longer,” said Julie Ward, of the British Heart Foundation. “Our message is that every 10 minutes counts and that making simple, more active changes to your daily routine can set you on a path to improved heart health.”

Are you surprised by this study’s findings or is the notion that exercise enhances longevity merely common sense?

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