Centenarian reveals SURPRISE drink that helps her live longer

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There is a great amount of evidence on the life-prolonging effects of exercise, with some studies suggesting it may extend lifespans by several years. It has proven particularly important to protect the ageing population from falls, improve cognitive skills and prevent heart disease. New findings suggest that partaking in a number of leisure physical activities per week may be key to lowering mortality rates among the elderly.

A new study led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute has found that adults who partake in various types of leisure activities each week have a lower risk of death from any cause.

Such activities may include walking, jogging, swimming laps, or playing tennis, according to findings published in JAMA Network Open.

The study sheds light on the importance of engaging in leisure time activities that can be sustained, noted the researchers.

This observation was based on the analysis of data from more than 272,000 adults, aged 59 to 82, who were asked to complete questionnaires about their leisure time activities.

The scientists looked at the effects of partaking in equal amounts of different exercise and recreational activities on mortality rates.

Their result revealed that achieving the recommended amount of physical activity per week through any combination of physical activity per week lowered the risk from any cause by 13 percent, compared to no participation in these activities.

When assessing the effects of each individual’s sport, the scientists found that playing racquet sports was associated with a 16 percent lower risk, and running with a 15 percent reduction.

Similar results were found for all the activities investigated, according to the researchers.

Playing racquet was associated with the greatest reduction in the risk of cardiovascular deaths, at 27 percent.

Running, on the other hand, was associated with the greatest reduction in risk of cancer deaths, at 19 percent.

The NHS website recommends doing at least “150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week”.

The health body continues: “Spread exercise evenly over four to five days a week, or every day [and] reduce time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity.”

This advice is important for older adults who are less likely to meet activity recommendations as they age.

However, researchers have sought to identify the minimum amounts of exercise that can benefit older people, since recommended activity levels can be difficult to achieve.

A recent study, due to be presented at the ESC Congress 2022, indicates that walking even just one hour every week may be advantageous to people aged 85 and older.

The potential of physical activity on health has been widely explored, but the latest findings present a strong case for engaging in activities that can be sustained over time.

Beyond exercising regularly, other simple habits must be considered for optimal well-being. 

In a study conducted by researchers at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health, five important habits were found to boost longevity.

  • Maintaining a healthy diet 
  • Exercising daily 
  • Keeping a healthy weight 
  • Limiting alcohol intake 
  • Not smoking 

Adhering to these simple rules may extend lifespan by a decade or more, according to the research. 

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