Is It Possible to Increase Your Lifespan?
21 ½ minutes = 5 years? Sorry Doc, but the math doesn’t add up. Maybe we should shed some light on this concept. According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, adults who include at least 150 minutes of physical activity in their routines each week (that’s 22 ½ minutes a day) live longer than those who don’t.
The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the National Health Interview Study mortality linkage, and U.S. Life Tables to estimate and compare the life expectancy at each age for adults who were inactive, somewhat-active and active. “Active” was defined as doing at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. They found that participants were estimated to gain as little as 2 years and as much as 5.5 potential years of life through moderate exercise alone.
Is There Proof That Exercise Lengthens Life Span?
Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes that protect your DNA and genetic information. Telomeres are like the plastic caps on the end of your shoelaces that protect the laces from becoming frayed. Shorter telomeres have been linked in previous research with cell aging and increased risks of age-related diseases like cancer and dementia, as well as premature death. In a study by Dr. Dean Ornish, researchers looked at 35 men with prostate cancer. 10 of those men were put on a strict lifestyle modification including moderate exercise, a plant-based diet, and yoga. Researchers found that telomere length actually increased among the men who were assigned to undergo the lifestyle intervention by an average of 10 percent. This is the first study to show that humans have the ability to lengthen their lifespan by exercise and diet.
Don’t you think it’s time to lace up those sneakers?