Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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With life expectancy declining slightly over the recent years, many are looking for simple ways to boost their lifespan. While some tips like healthy snacking can be a tasty way of adding a few years to your life, others like physical activity are heavily-researched, showing a great promise.
Whether you go to the gym or prefer a daily run in the fresh air, it can be difficult to force yourself to exercise on some days.
However, it might help to know that there’s no need to spend hours sweating and pushing yourself to the max.
Sweatband shared that as little as 10 minutes of daily exercise could increase your life expectancy by “nearly two years”.
They based this advice on the research from National Institute of Health that found that completing 75 minutes of exercise per week can add 1.8 years to the life expectancy of adults aged over 40.
This doesn’t mean that you have to do a full 75 minutes in one go but instead, you could think of it as snacking.
This would bring your daily goal to only a few minutes of your preferred exercise.
However, the study set this time based on vigorous-intensity physical activities.
So, to get the benefits you need to do exercises like running, fast swimming, or anything that requires “a large amount of effort” and causes “rapid breathing and a substantial heart rate increase”.
Ruth Stone, consultant PT for Sweatband, said: “There’s so much research to prove that regular exercise throughout your week, no matter how little, can have an amazing impact on peoples’ health and life expectancy.
“Why wouldn’t you want to age slower, have a healthy heart into your 70s and live longer?
“It might not seem like enough to make a difference but dedicating just 10 minutes of your day to add nearly two more years of life expectancy and the quality of life that being fit brings with it is more than worth it.”
While 10 minutes daily can bring promising results, doing more could take your longevity even further.
Sweatband shares that doubling the amount above, which brings your goal to 150 minutes of exercise per week can add 3.4 years to your lifespan.
And taking this a step further offers 4.2 extra years when you do 300 minutes of exercise weekly.
Plus, there’s even more research to back the effects of exercise.
Research from the Harvard University and the National Cancer Institute shows that a small amount of exercise – “still falling below the suggested 150-minute mark” – could cut the risk of premature death by 20 percent.
This large-scale study looked at more than 661,000 middle-aged participants in total.
Apart from adding extra years to your lifespan, exercise has been also shown to reduce the risk of the world’s biggest killer – heart disease.
The World Health Organisation found that exercising for 150 minutes weekly can lower the risk of ischaemic heart disease by a whopping 30 percent.
Plus, it can reduce your chances of developing high blood pressure and having a stroke, Sweatband added.
So, whether you prefer a smaller amount of vigorous exercise or feel like pushing yourself, the benefits you can reap are plentiful.
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