Exercise Can Add 3 Years to Life Expectancy

The above mentioned headline is coming from a November 15, 2005 InteliHealth article reporting on 2 recent reports that demonstrate that normally individuals who regularly exercise may add as much as 3 years to their lives. The research, performed at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, noted that simple things like brisk walking a half-hour per day, can positively affect the heart and may possess a profound impact on life span. Dr. Oscar Franco, co-author of one of the studies noted, "Three years of extra life: It is a clear message which makes it simple to grasp what could be the effects of a sedentary lifestyle." The studies indicated that the rise in life expectancy was a direct result of the positive impact on the heart. In one of the studies researchers grouped 4,121 people into three degrees of physical exercise: low, medium and high. The results indicated that the life expectancy at age 50 for the medium activity group was 1.5 years longer compared to the low activity group. However, the high activity group lived an average of 3.5 years longer.

The 2nd study, conducted at the University of Florida, was conducted on a "real world" basis tracking people inside their day to day activities and the volume of exercise they performed. The research noted that individuals usually exercised considerably less than they actually intended, but nevertheless received the health benefits from the exercise they did do. Lead investigator Michael Perri commented, "If you strive for exercising each day, you'll likely do 4 or 5 days. If you strive for 3 or 4 days, you likely will get maybe two days done."Dr. Martha Gulati, a cardiologist and fitness researcher at Northwestern University concluded, "We have to know how to prescribe this and how to implement this. If we don't, we're never going to get to the point where we do prevention. We're always going to be treating chronic disease."

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