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Medicine Idle Science

The Least Amount of Exercise Needed To Extend Life 249

Toe, The writes "Of particular concern to couch potatoes, gamers, and anyone who spends an inordinate amount of time sitting and staring at a screen is how little exercise can I do and still receive a benefit. A new study entitled 'Minimum amount of physical activity for reduced mortality and extended life expectancy: a prospective cohort study' answers this important question. The conclusion: 92 minutes of moderate activity a week can extend your life by three years."
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The Least Amount of Exercise Needed To Extend Life

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  • Love excercise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:02PM (#37196574) Homepage

    Good job I love exercise, so I don't have to go around calculating the bare minimum.

  • by TheEmpyrean ( 788742 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:05PM (#37196626)

    ... does masturbation count? Because I'm going to live forever at this point.

  • by sh00z ( 206503 ) <sh00z@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:21PM (#37196812) Journal
    It gets better--following their math, 92 minutes a week gives a 14% reduction in mortality from all causes, and every additional 15 minutes gives an additional 4%. there's no point of diminishing returns identified. So, if you exercise 7 hours a week, you become immortal.
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:25PM (#37196866)
    I've heard this expressed in terms of weekly calories expended in heart-raising exercise, i.e 2000. Walking, running, biking (3x miles), etc. doesnt matter so much as long that many calories are burned. Neither whether its compressed into a couple of long sessions or divided into many ten-minute mini-sessions. In fact it recommended to choose the most pleasant form of cardio to you so can you can continue to do to for 50 or 70 more years.

    This data comes from the "grandfather" of the exercise boom Dr. Kenneth Cooper. He wrote a book called Aerobics in 1968 promoting endurance exercise over the then-popular calesthetics. He ignited the running boom by putting the on top of his 60-point-week exercise classification system. Running gets you there in the shortest time.

    Above 2000 exercise calories a week the situation gets murkier. You get additional, but diminishing longevity results up to about 5000 calories (50 miles walking/running). After that the main effect is improve sports performance, not longevity. Dr. Ken even claims that too much exercise may create more oxidative waste than the body can eliminate and then decrease longevity. But this is a minority opinion and irritates the ultra people.
  • by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:57PM (#37197398) Journal

    You young whippersnappers will soon learn that one reason so many of us older folks get exercise is that it reduces the amount of pain in old bones. I won't go to the gym to save my life, but I will work in the yard, garden some, mow the law, haul water in a 5 gallon bucket, wheel barrel stuff off, etc. Nothing too dramatic, but enough that it reduces the pain and inflammation in the joints and you really do feel better. The least amount is around 30 minutes a day of just moving around doing light work to get the benefits, preferably in the A.M. Ask anyone with arthritis, you will get the same answer.

  • by MetalliQaZ ( 539913 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @05:58PM (#37197402)

    ...you get old when you become less active.

    Statements like that quoted in the summary are pure silliness. On average, exercise will tend to extend life expectancy, but that is certainly not the whole story. Plenty of exercise, proper nutrition, and stimulating thought will improve quality of life for many years leading up to death. Those years are the time to enjoy the life you have.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen