Adding Years To Your Life With Exercise

Over the past year, conventional medicine has begun to recognize all the vital and natural things exercise can do to protect and enhance your health, from treating depression to fighting heart disease. So, it's no surprise a regular exercise regimen can add up to four years to your life.

Researchers reviewed the health records of some 5,000 baby boomers and elderly patients to determine how various levels of exercise (low, moderate or high) affected their life spans.

Patients who exercised in the moderate range -- walking 30 minutes a day at least five days a week -- lived about 18 months longer than the less active. And, those who engaged in a more intense exercise regimen -- running for a half-hour five days a week -- added almost four years to their lives.

The other great benefit to take from this study: It's never too late to get started on an exercise plan, even for baby boomers and the elderly.

The trick to adding those extra years to your life through daily exercise: Getting started. If you need some direction, review my beginner's exercise page that includes links to other tips and a free exercise table you can download to track your progress.

Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 165, No. 20, November 14, 2005: 2355-2360

Washington Post November 15, 2005

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