Here’s some very good news about the connection between regular moderate exercise and longevity—not just a longer life, but a more enjoyable life…
If you really don’t like to work out…or if, like me, you’re feeling your age more and more and just have to slow down a bit—this is for us!
I recently came across three online articles about the benefits of moderate exercise. I’ll just give you a brief synopsis of each, then send you to the full article if you’d like to read further:
“Even Light Activity is Healthier than Previously Thought”
Light activities—like gardening, walking your dog, even vacuuming—contributed to 50-70% decline in mortality in two separate studies.
One was from Harvard, the other from an institution in Sweden. They both agreed that “subjects who moved a lot enjoyed a substantial longevity benefit over those who moved little.”
The important finding is that it’s not just about a 30-60 minute workout each day. The study participants who sat the least (less than 6 hours a day) showed a 66% lower mortality risk than those who sat the most (more than 10 hours a day).
Read The Washington Post article here.
The Activity and Longevity Connection for Over-40s
This article from Vitality Living website refers to a medical journal article that found “even a modestly active lifestyle can add years to one’s life, with high levels of activity adding even greater health benefits.”
It mentions this other important point: physical activity isn’t the only factor for a meaningful and long life. But it’s a definite key.
Read the Vitality Living article here.
Added Years of Life Free of Disability
Finally, the American Public Health Association (APHA) published an article in The Nation’s Health referring to another study. This one showed that not only are added years a benefit of a healthy lifestyle, but those years will be free of common disabilities associated with aging.
This particular article doesn’t address physical activity specifically like the first two do. But it ends with this encouraging statement:
“It is still possible to make lifestyle changes for improved health outcomes…Changing behavior has the potential to come with massive health gains.”
Put simply: It’s never too late to start!
Read the APHA article here.
God’s Purpose for Our Whole Life
As Christians, one of the things to keep in mind is it’s not just about us living a long life. Or even just about living a long life free of disability.
Both of those are amazing, but there’s more for us.
It’s about fruitfulness for God’s kingdom for as long as we’re living this life He gave us.
The healthier we are—body, soul, mind and spirit—the better able we are to keep pursuing God’s call for our lives…and the more we’ll be able to enjoy it!
You’ll like these, too…
- The Physical Benefits of Thankfulness May Surprise You!
- Physical Inactivity: The #1 Health Problem of Our Time
- Why Your Brain Loves Exercise
Sharon is the founder and publisher of Active Outdoor Women. She loves getting outside in beautiful places to hike, paddle, camp, snowshoe, ski, ride—and encouraging others to come along! Besides maintaining AOW and her other website, Twin Cities Outdoors, Sharon writes and designs websites, newsletters, blogs, emails, books and other marketing tools for clients.