skip to Main Content
$300 loan.
an older man jogging while smiling
Listen to this article:

Exercise is essential for a long, healthy life, but we may need to do it more than the government recommends. A lot more.

That’s the message researchers from Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health convey in a recent study published in the journal Circulation. They found that doubling or even quadrupling the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ suggested weekly dose of moderate exercise (150 minutes) or its recommended amount of intense activity (75 minutes) resulted in as much as a 31 percent reduction in the risk of mortality compared with a control group over the course of 30 years.

Tracking the average amount of self-reported physical activity among more than 116,000 participants with an average age of 66 in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, researchers reported some surprising conclusions:

  • Participants who met the government’s guidelines for vigorous exercise (jogging, running, swimming, bicycling, and other aerobic activity) were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease (a 31 percent risk reduction) than their less aerobic-focused counterparts (25 percent), but they were slightly more likely than the lighter exercisers to die from other causes.
  • The same held true for those in each category who doubled or quadrupled the amount of time spent on their chosen workouts. Intense exercisers enjoyed up to a 23 percent lower risk of death from all causes, while moderate movers were up to 31 percent less likely to succumb to all-cause mortality.
  • Interestingly, those who exercised more than four times the suggested amount per week did not appear to lower their mortality risk beyond that of those who simply doubled or quadrupled their workout times.

This article originally appeared as “More Exercise = Longer Lifespan ” in the January/February 2023 issue of Experience Life.

Craig Cox
Craig Cox

Craig Cox is an Experience Life deputy editor who explores the joys and challenges of healthy aging.

Thoughts to share?

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

City and state are only displayed in our print magazine if your comment is chosen for publication.

More From Life Time

Listen to this article:
A group of three mature adults participating in a water aerobics class.

ARORA at Life Time

ARORA is a collection of fitness, social and educational programs designed for people who want to stay active, healthy, social — and have fun all the days of their lives.

Learn More About ARORA

ADVERTISEMENT

More Like This

a senior woman sits on a beach at sunset

10 Essentials of Aging Well

By Frank Lipman, MD 
Functional-medicine pioneer Frank Lipman, MD, offers simple strategies to improve how we age.
a person performs a lunge

Is Exercise More Important Than Weight Loss For a Longer Life?

By Michael Dregni
When it comes to longevity, regular exercise may be more important than weight loss, according to a recent study.
a senior man with silver hair and a beard enjoys a walk alongside a river

Can Taking a Walk Help the Aging Brain?

By Craig Cox
Regular walks can help improve the brain's white matter, according to a recent study.
Back To Top
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]