A study conducted by Norwegian researchers and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has showed that exercising late in life even if just a bit may extend your life.
According to the research elderly people who exercise at least for 30 minutes every day six days a week have a 40% lower risk of death compared to persons who are not active. It seems that this small amount of regular exercise irrespective of the intensity has the same beneficial impact on your body as the one giving up smoking has.
The great Norwegian research known as the Oslo study was conducted 6.000 men who were born between 1923 and 1932. The men were offered health checkups and they voluntary offered information about their lifestyle and physical activity. The participants underwent a health check around 1972-73 and in 2000. Their monitoring lasted for almost 12 years.
The lead-author of the study, professor Ingar Holme the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo, remarked:
“Even in the elderly, there is a lot to gain by being moderately active as compared to being sedentary. Given the evidence, physical activity is probably an important factor in getting people to age successfully. But there are many things that we don’t know in this field.”
The initiative of the study started with the first survey in 1972-73 in which 15.000 men took part. The survey was repeated in 2000 on the same group of which 12.7000 men had survived. Of those who survived 5.700 wanted or were able or wanted to take part in the research. By 2011 only 3.600 participants were still part of the study.
According to Holme 51% of the nearly 2.000 men who died by 2011 were sedentary in their 70s and died from any cause, whereas among those who have had a moderate or vigorous physical activity only one-quarter died. The lifespan of those who underwent vigorous physical activity was extended with five years compared to the sedentary men.
After the study was launched again in 2000 the volunteers who took part in it were the healthiest survivors of the previous group. But even without taking this into account the beneficial impact of regular exercise is obvious. The authors of the study remarked that physical exercise should be considered as important as smoking when it comes to public health prevention.
Image Source: Boston Athletic Club