Does your weekly routine include a daily run or a few mornings at the gym? It turns out you may be doing your body a big favor. According to a new report, just 30 minutes of physical activity each day gives older men the advantage when it comes to longevity.
The new findings, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, come from the long-term Oslo study, which followed more than 15,000 men born between 1923 and 1932. Throughout the study, researchers monitored the participants’ general physical health and placed them in one of four groups based on their level of daily exercise: sedentary, light exercisers, moderate exercisers, and vigorous exercisers.
Overall, researchers concluded that men in their 60s and 70s who were moderate or vigorous exercisers (getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, six days a week) tended to live about five years longer than their sedentary counterparts—and that in terms of a longer lifespan, exercise was equally beneficial to quitting smoking.
Previous studies have shown that regular exercise not only helps seniors maintain mobility later in life but also promotes heart health and helps decrease the risk of having a heart attack. In light of this new data, the research team stressed the importance of promoting daily exercise as part of an overall health strategy for elderly men.