Good News about Moderate Exercise and Longevity

two women standing on rock overlooking a lake
A hike doesn’t have to be long and grueling to be healthy—or beautiful! (my sister, Katy, and me)

(Updated 1/12/22)

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 a 50-70% decline in mortality rates 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.

two women walking on the beach
An evening stroll along the beach—good for the soul, too! ( Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico)

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 + Better Quality of Life

And finally, the National Institute on Aging supports this, too: “…exercise and physical activity are considered a cornerstone of almost every healthy aging program. Scientific evidence suggests that people who exercise regularly not only live longer, they live better.”

The same article refers to studies that are finding that even adults who start exercising in their 60s and 70s will improve their heart health. Balance, fatigue, breathlessness—all are common with older people, and all are improved with moderate exercise.

Put simply: It’s never too late to start!

Read the NIA article here.

women picking blueberries
Blueberry picking is a great excuse for an easy hike!

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!

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