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Sure, Exercise Helps You Live Longer—But By How Much?

A new study puts a number—in years—on the benefits of physical exercise.

How much is 30 minutes a day of brisk walking worth to you? 

New research published in PLoS Medicine has actually put a number on the benefits of physical exercise, finding that 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week (think: 5 days of 30-minute workouts, like walking, bicycling, or hiking) will earn you an extra 3.4 years. And even just 75 minutes a week (that's 10 minutes a day!) could extend your life by 1.8 years. Pretty inspiring, huh?

A few more interesting facts, from the study, which included over 650,000 people:

  • The findings held true, even for people are overweight or obese.
  • Being obese and inactive, however, is a dangerous combination—possibly shaving 7.2 years off the life span.
  • The benefits increase as you exercise more, plateauing around 300 minutes of moderate exercise a week at 4.2 years gained.
So the bottom line, as always, is this: exercise is good for you. Really good for you. So whether you've been sidelined due to an injury or are just straight-up lazy lately, do what it takes to safely get yourself back in the game—because even 10 minutes a day will stretch your lifespan.

 

 

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