The fountain of youth, or at least the possibility of longevity, can be found in a good pair of walking shoes.
People who take a brisk, 20- to 25-minute walk or jog every day lower their risk by half of dying in their 50s or 60s of a heart attack, which is enough to increase their lifespan by seven years.
And here's the good news: You don't have to start young. People who begin exercising as late as their 70s can still improve their health, The Daily Mail reports of research from Saarland University in Germany. However, the earlier you begin exercising, the greater the health benefit you will receive.
"This study is very relevant. It suggests that when people exercise regularly they may be able to retard the process of aging," Dr. Sanjay Sharma, a professor of cardiac diseases at St. George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London, explained to The Daily Mail. "We may never avoid becoming completely old, but we may delay the time we become old. We may look younger when we're 70 and may live into our 90s."
In case you need extra motivation to take that walk--either around the block or on a treadmill--Sharma says exercise provides three distinct benefits, in addition to adding years to life:
- Exercise is an antidepressant.
- Exercise improves cognitive function.
- Exercise may significantly delay the onset of dementia.
How fast is a brisk walk? Walk slowly enough so you can still speak, but quickly enough that you cannot sing.
--From the Editors at Netscape