Healthy 100 Articles

Exercise: No Sitting On This News- Exercise Affects Longevity

Exercise: No Sitting On This News- Exercise Affects Longevity

Tagged: Activity

Physical activity promotes cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength, endurance and muscular flexibility, as well as good body composition. 

The benefits of regular physical activity include improved quality of life and greater longevity. 

How Does Exercise Increase Longevity and Quality of Life?

In recommendations on physical activity, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American College of Sports Medicine, state that the benefits of physical activity include a number of factors that lowered the risk of coronary heart disease: 

-improved blood lipid profiles

-better resting blood pressure in borderline hypertension

-improved body composition

-better glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity

-better bone density, immune function and psychological function14

Also, physical activity is protective.  Epidemiologic studies show that low levels of activity and fitness are associated with markedly increased all-cause mortality rates.  

Attention Couch Potatoes!

It is estimated that of 250,000 deaths per year in the United States, approximately 12% of the total are attributed to a lack of regular physical activity.15

Dr. Paffenbarger conducted a large study of 16,000 Harvard alumni.16 His research showed that for every hour spent exercising, subjects could add four or more hours to their life.  

The additional hours of life are especially appealing because it's not just the added hours that you experience but a higher quality of life.  Physical activity is certainly a good investment, at least when it comes to time and health!

Dr. Blair reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, exercise was shown to be protective against coronary heart disease and cancer.17 

Decrease in Mortality

Physical activity was also shown to be a stronger predictor of mortality rate than high blood pressure, smoking, and high cholesterol.  Researchers also found that physically fit people with any combination of smoking, elevated blood pressure, or elevated cholesterol levels had lower death rates overall than low-fit people without any of these problems.  

The Bottom Line

In other words, this research indicated that if a person smokes and has high blood pressure but is physically active, his or her chances of dying prematurely are lower than someone who does not smoke and does not have high blood pressure but is inactive. 

This demonstrates the powerful protective effect of physical activity and its ability to promote health and well-being.

Leave a Comment