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Longevity & health links with exercise?

By February 28, 2010 - 8:15am
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I am 40 years old. I am very health conscious. I have friends who are very athletic and who spend a lot of time in the mountains skiing (downhill and cross country). Some of them are 70 or even 80 years old and they are fitter then I am. I know this couple in their 80s who do 3 hours of cross country skiing a day and I could not keep up with them. They are full of energy and look about 20 years younger. I would like to find out what would be the optimum exercise level in an ideal world, if one had access to any sport and did not have to work. What kind of sports is best to develop so that one can continue to do them into a very old age? I was told that cross country skiing, swimming, walking in nature is very good as they do not place any pressure on the mechanical parts of the body, like knees or joints. What would be an ideal amount of time to exercise per day or per week?

At the moment I do Nordic walking (with sticks) in a forest for 1 – 3 hours per day. Yoga 2 hours per week. I try not to drive anywhere but walk. In the summer I mountain bike 3 times per week. In the winter I climb mountain with snow shoes and then hike in the mountains for 2 to 3 hours per day.
I know all about 30 minutes 4 times per week but I really do not think this is enough if one wants to live past 80 and be as fit and energetic as my 80 year old friends. All the very fit 70 and 80 year olds that I know do at least 1.5 hours of walking or some other exercise per day all of their lives. This is first hand information.
Are there any studies that link longevity with exercise? And also health with exercise?

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EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for your question. Most research says that 30 minutes per day of some sort of exercise is good for your health. From the information you provided, you are certainly an active person.

I am not sure if there is a clear cut answer to your question that I can provide since there are so many underlying variables that may cut my life short (such as genetics) versus your life even though you and I exercise the same. Certainly, it is good to try and maintain a life of exercise and eat right but even the region you live in may change your life expectancy (such as a city with high pollution), your stress level, your job and so forth.

Have you spoken to your physician about your concerns? The reason I am asking is because with so many factors associated with your health, I think maybe speaking to your physician who knows your medical history, family history and so forth may be able to better answer a question pertaining to your specific needs.

Would you kindly keep us updated?

February 28, 2010 - 10:30am
(reply to Anonymous)

My question was more general to see if there are any studies showing the relationship between health and exercise. I already spoke to my doctor.

March 1, 2010 - 5:21am
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