As the December holidays loom on the horizon, one might wonder if it is better to go for a brisk winter walk than to simply succumb to the sofa and Sees candy.
According to a new review, you might want to lace up your workout shoes—because researchers have found getting physical is not only good for you now, it may add years to your lifetime.
“We found that adding low amounts of physical activity to one’s daily routine, such as 75 minutes of brisk walking per week, was associated with increased longevity, a gain of 1.8 years of life expectancy after age 40, compared with doing no such activity,” explained I-Min Lee, M.D., associate epidemiologist in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and senior author on this study.
“Physical activity above this minimal level was associated with additional gains in longevity,” Lee added. “For example, walking briskly for at least 450 minutes a week was associated with a gain of 4.5 years. Further, physical activity was associated with greater longevity among persons in all BMI groups: those normal weight, overweight, and obese.”
The researchers analyzed data from more than 650,000 subjects and followed subjects for an average of ten years- analyzing over 82,000 deaths, according to a press release..
Participants faring best were those who were both normal weight and active.
“Our findings reinforce prevailing public health messages promoting both a physically active lifestyle and a normal body weight,” explained Dr. Steven C. Moore, Ph.D., research fellow at the National Cancer Institute and lead author of this study.
“These findings may also help convince currently inactive persons that even being modestly active is worth it for greater longevity, even if it may not result in weight control,” Moore added.