A new study suggests that the most important benchmark for life longevity may be staying active and keeping fit.
The study tested 6500 people over the age of 70 by measuring their exercise limits on a treadmill or biking machine. Participants were tracked for 10 years, with 39% passing away by the end of the study.
Researchers found the participants who were active and fit, were twice as likely to be alive a decade later.
Participants with no risk factors had about the same chance of dying as those with three or more risk factors, according to the study, though researchers only found an association between fitness and life span.
“We found fitness is an extremely strong risk predictor of survival in the older age group — that is, regardless of whether you are otherwise healthy or have cardiovascular risk factors, being more fit means you’re more likely to live longer than someone who is less fit,” said lead author Dr. Seamus Whelton.
Researchers stress the importance of staying fit. Fitness can be measured using a treadmill or a biking machine. However, educators can also assess fitness by a self-report of a person’s physical activities as well.
The researchers believe that participants who are sedentary would benefit from beginning a routine of short exercises, but encourage movement newbies to check with their provider first.
To learn more: Study Urges Seniors to Get Moving to Live Longer – HealthyDay.
See our Exercise Resource Page for a bunch of wonderful handouts and movement ideas.
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