Starting workouts in middle age tied to longer life
While regularly exercising over the course of decades is a great way to live longer, a U.S. study suggests that even people who don’t start working out until middle-age may see similar longevity benefits. To help people live longer, national guidelines for physical fitness recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. But much of the evidence behind these recommendations has looked at exercise at only one point in time, leaving a murky picture of how lifelong exercise habits might impact longevity, researchers note in JAMA Network Open. For the current study, researchers examined data on 315,059 adults ages 50 to 71 who completed surveys about their exercise habits from adolescence through the most recent decade. During an average follow-up of almost 14 years, 71,377 people had died, including 22,219 from heart disease and 16,388 from cancer. Compared to people who were inactive throughout their lives, participants who reported consistently high levels of exercise from youth through middle age were 36 percent less likely to die of any cause during the study period.