A new study suggests that a small amount of physical activity can extend the lifespan of older men.
The government guidelines recommend that adults exercise at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. However, only about half of American adults actually meet these recommendations, and it seems difficult for older adults to do so. But a new report published in the British journal of sports medicine suggests that there is a way to adjust the guidelines to make them more suitable for older people and still stay healthy.
In the report, the researchers looked at about 1,180 men, with an average age of 78, and agreed to wear devices to measure their movements for seven days. They followed for about five years. The researchers found that the overall amount of exercise doesn’t have to be how long or how bad someone is at the games, the most important is longevity.
The men in the study did not even need to exercise long enough to experience positive results. Even if each turn is less than 10 minutes, there will be sporadic movements throughout the day, but the effect of more than 10 minutes each time is similar to that of life. It also seems to suit men’s lives; Sixty-six percent of men in the study were able to complete the weekly recommended exercise in a short time.
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30 minutes of light intensity activity a day – such as walking or gardening – was associated with a 17 per cent reduction in early death risk in the study. Moderate to vigorous physical activity had a stronger link with a longer life: 30 minutes of exercise reduced the risk of death by 33 percent. However, the authors write that the fact that light exercise seems to still have significant longevity benefits is important.
If more research confirms the findings, it could mean that a few minutes of exercise – even if it is light – can lower the risk of early death in men. The researchers concluded that their findings “can improve the physical activity guidelines, make it more feasible for low levels of activity the elderly: emphasize the benefits of all activities, both upward from the light intensity and modest,” and encourage people to do any level of physical activity for the day.