Exercising More Than Recommended Can Prolong Your Life: Study

When the researchers considered all study participants, they found that those who did 75 minutes of moderate-intensity activity weekly lived an average of 1.8 years longer compared to people who did no physical activity. Sometimes it’s tempting to exercise as much as possible, whether it’s to lose weight, prepare for a specific event, or maximize the multiple benefits of exercise. Going to extremes and exercising excessively can put unnecessary stress on your body and put you at risk of harming yourself unintentionally. Research on ultramarathoners shows that they may have a reduced lifespan for unclear reasons.

While most studies reported outcomes based on multivariate analysis of the life table, the studies of Menotti et al. and Pekkanen et al. reported life expectancy outcomes for cohorts alone based on classical survival analysis. In addition, the study by Pekkanen et al. reported the survival rate of men aged 40 to 65 years over the next 20 years and not the total life expectancy. Normal-weight people who exercised at a moderate level for at least 150 minutes a week lived about 7.2 years Aging Test longer on average compared to inactive and obese people. Regular and moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, can increase life expectancy by several years, even for overweight people, a large new study shows. A lot of scientific and medical research tells us that constant exercise is an absolute pillar of healthy living into old age. This recent research project by the American Heart Association concludes that simply walking more generally promotes a longer life.

The remaining life expectancy for physically active and inactive individuals or the difference in remaining life expectancy between the two groups, respectively, were reported in the articles. Since it cannot be assumed that the differences in remaining life expectancy are independent of the age reached, we report the results stratified for the age reached. Even if you’ve been sedentary for many years, it’s not too late to reap the benefits of exercise. Studies have shown that people who are overweight or who have been inactive for years can increase their life expectancy by adding moderate physical activity to their routine.

The purpose of this review was to synthesize the literature on life expectancy in relation to physical activity. In particular, we reviewed cohort studies in physically active and inactive subjects to detect a possible difference in life expectancy between these groups of subjects. In addition, cohort studies in athletes and non-athletes were reviewed to detect a possible difference in life expectancy between these groups of subjects. Unlike some studies that found an upper limit to the amount of exercise that is healthy, the researchers found that there was apparently no limit to the benefits of exercise for longevity. Even the small group of people who did 10 times the amount of exercise recommended by the federal government — 1,500 minutes of exercise per week, or more than three hours a day — had a 46 percent lower risk of death than the least active group, the researchers found. People who did only 10 to 59 minutes of light to moderate physical activity during their free time per week had an 18% lower risk of premature death than sedentary people.

Studies that standardized life expectancy estimates for confounding factors [16, 18-25, 27] practically calculated a net gain in life expectancy from being physically active. However, the actual increase in life expectancy should be much greater because of the beneficial effects of physical activity on other risk factors for mortality, such as high blood pressure, glucose and lipid metabolism, coronary heart disease, stroke or malignancies. In fact, non-smoking, physically fit men of normal weight live on average 12 years (95% confidence interval, 8.6 to 14.6 years) longer than control subjects who smoke, are overweight and are not physically fit. Subjects who have never smoked, followed a healthy diet, are sufficiently physically active, and consume only moderate alcohol have an average life expectancy that is 11.1 years longer than those who do not practice any of these healthy lifestyle behaviors. The idea that genetics plays only a partial role in how long we live is not a new concept.

Current guidelines recommend 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or a combination of both. Unfortunately, only one in five adults and teens get enough exercise to maintain good health. Because a meta-analysis model was not appropriate, all data found in the literature review were reported, despite some overlaps between cohort studies. For example, Jonker et al. and Nusselder et al. used data from the Framingham Heart Study and Paffenbarger et al. [21-24] used data from the Harvard Alumni cohort.

The health benefits of regular exercise and a physically active lifestyle are indisputable: it plays a key role in improving cardiorespiratory fitness, maintaining physical function and correcting biological risk factors such as hypertension and high cholesterol. Exercise offers a remarkable range of health benefits, ranging from strengthening bones to positive effects on mood and helping prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Research dating back to the late 1980s has consistently shown that aerobic fitness can help prolong life. However, some studies on athletes investigating whether regular vigorous exercise could damage the heart made some experts wonder how hard people should exert themselves during exercise. The eleven case-control studies on the life expectancy of athletes, mostly elite athletes, reported an average life expectancy that was between 5.0 years lower and 8.0 years higher than that of non-athletic control groups. Aerobic endurance sports resulted on average in a life expectancy of 4.3 to 8.0 years higher and team sports activities on average in a life expectancy of 5.0 years lower to about 5 years higher compared to that of normal physical activity.

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