Researchers have known for decades that regular exercise boosts longevity, but studies have never specified just how much. Now a Harvard professor has the answers. Professor I-Min Lee led a comprehensive ten-year study involving 650,000 people aged 40 and up, focusing specifically on participants’ leisure activities and body mass index.
The results (published here in Harvard Magazine were an eye-opener, showing that even a little exercise adds years to life. The researchers’ analysis showed that 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise a week resulted in people living more than seven years more than people who don’t exercise. The aim of exercising is to raise your heart rate sufficiently, and brisk walking, riding a bicycle, even working in the yard achieves this result. And according to Lee’s study, while 150 minutes per week is the target, 75 minutes of walking briskly each week – only about 11 minutes a day – can extend your life by almost 2 years. So start walking!