Physical Activity is the Key to a Longer, Healthier Life

You could live up to 7-years longer if you walked briskly for 20- to 25-minutes every day, the delegates at the European Society of Cardiology Congress heard on Sunday. And it doesn’t matter how old you are – other research shows that people who start exercising in their 70’s also benefit.

Last month, we talked about a large Swedish study that showed similar results. In that study, as little as 20-minutes a day of walking or cycling was associated with a 21% lower risk of developing heart failure. Both studies suggest 20-minutes as the minimum amount we should be doing each day, not the optimum. You may also have read our blog back in August talking about research that showed that more is better when it comes to preventing an early death, at least up to 300-minutes a week. Start with 20-minutes and increase your activity at your own pace.

The research showed that different types of activity – aerobic, high intensity and strength – all have a positive impact on markers of aging. Although aerobic and high intensity activity were better than strength training at increasing telomerase activity, which helps to repair DNA as gets old.

This highlights that we don’t all need to be doing the same thing when it comes to physical activity to gain similar benefits – one size doesn’t fit all!

It’s time to change the way we think about Physical Activity – it is not just exercise. It has multiple dimensions that we can take advantage of to gain the innumerable health benefits. So, each of us can choose what we want to do to optimise our physical activity and harness all of its protective properties. The key is to find out what “counts” for us. It’s likely you’re already doing at least one thing every day that counts for you. It could be anything from walking to the bus stop or playing with the kids, to playing 9 holes of golf or a daily run. That’s why we visualise personalised multidimensional physical activity profiles in the KiActiv System. They enhance understanding, inspire confidence to change and optimise your individual physical activity – it’s your life, you choose how to optimise your physical activity and improve your health.

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