How Does Exercise Help You Live Longer?

Exercise is really important for staying healthy and living longer. We all know that being active is good for us, but sometimes, we don't realize how much it can help us live longer.

Let's talk about why physical fitness is so good for us. We'll see how it helps keep our hearts healthy, muscles strong, and minds happy. Plus, we'll learn that doing different kinds of exercise is a great way to live a longer, healthier life.


How Often Should One Exercise to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle?

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, experts recommend moderate-intensity exercise for at least 150 minutes weekly. This can be achieved by exercising for 30 minutes five days a week. It's important to find activities you enjoy to stay motivated and make exercise a regular part of your routine.


Exercise and Living Longer

Exercising is linked to many health benefits, including longer life. 1 Regular physical activity can lower our risk of getting sick with things like heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. 2

Exercise also makes us feel happier, helps us control our weight, and keeps us fit. If we make exercise a regular part of our day, we increase our chances of living a longer and healthier life.


Why Exercise is Good for Your Heart

One of the best things about exercise is how it strengthens our cardiovascular system. When we're active, our hearts get stronger. 3 This can lower our chances of heart disease and strokes. Exercise also helps keep our blood pressure down.


Exercise When You're Older

For older folks, exercise is extra important. It helps slow down the effects of aging. 4 Older adults can keep their muscles and stay strong by doing strength exercises. These exercises can also help with balance which helps prevent slip and fall injuries.

Exercise keeps your heart healthy, lowers the risk of getting sick with long-term diseases, makes you feel happier, and helps your brain work better.

Older people who exercise can have a better quality of life and live longer.


Building Muscles for a Longer Life

Keeping our muscles strong is essential as we get older. Muscle helps us with daily tasks and keeps our metabolism working well. Doing exercises like lifting weights helps us keep our muscles and strengthen them.

Strong muscles are great for living longer and staying healthy. They help us with everyday things and keep our bodies working right. Strong muscles also help us avoid heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.


Keeping Muscles as You Age

As we age, it's vital to maintain muscle mass. 5 Doing exercises like lifting weights keeps us strong and healthy. It's great for older people because it helps them keep their weight under control and lowers the risk of diseases that come with ageing.


Different Exercises for Living Longer

Doing different types of exercise will add variety to our training. Strength exercises help keep our muscles strong. Other exercises, like tai chi, help our hearts and can lower the risk of diseases like diabetes. Mixing up our exercise routines is good for keeping a healthy weight and staying fit.


Heart-Healthy Cardio Exercises

Doing things like brisk walking or aerobic activity is good for your heart. This type of exercise lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and other health conditions. 6 They help control blood sugar, keep our hearts working well, and lower blood pressure.

There are different kinds of heart exercises:

  • Easy: Walking, swimming, slow cycling.
  • Medium: Fast walking, aerobic exercise, medium cycling.
  • Hard: Running, intense workouts, sports.

These exercises strengthen our hearts, reduce high blood pressure, improve blood flow, and help manage cholesterol. They also help with weight management and reduce stress.

The American Heart Association says we should do moderate exercise for 150 minutes or intense exercises for 75 minutes weekly. And we should do muscle-strengthening exercises at least two days a week.


Strength Training for Muscles and Bones

Keeping our muscles and bones strong is critical to living longer. Resistance training is important for older people because it helps them hold onto muscle strength and size. Maintaining muscle is a leading indicator of good health.

Here's what you need to know about strength training:

  • Types: Free weights, gym machines, exercises like push-ups, and resistance bands.
  • Benefits: Builds muscle, makes bones stronger, helps with metabolism, strengthens joints, and improves daily life activities. It also makes you feel happier and think better.
  • How to do it: Workout at least twice a week, focusing on all major muscle groups. Start easy and slowly do more over time. Mix up the exercises to work out different muscles. Older people should use lighter weights and do more reps to avoid getting hurt.

Strength training is a great way to stay healthy and live a long life. Start at a level that's right for you and slowly increase the intensity. Remember, being consistent and doing a variety of exercises is the best way to get the most out of strength training.


How Much Exercise Do You Need for a Longer Life?

Exercise is really good for your health and will help you live longer. But how much exercise do you need to get these benefits?

The American Heart Association says you should do at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of strenuous exercise every week. In addition, do strength exercises at least two days a week.

Remember, any exercise is better than none, so start small and slowly do more.


Best Exercise Times for Different Ages


Age Group Cardio (mins/wk) Strength (sessions/wk)
18-64 150-300 (moderate) 2-3
75-150 (vigorous)
65 or older 150-300 (moderate) 2-3
75-150 (vigorous)
 Children 6-17 60 mins/day 3

* 18-64 Years: For healthy adults, including at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week is recommended. Strength training should be done at least twice a week.
* 65 Years and Older: Same as 18-64, but the exercises should be tailored to any chronic conditions or limitations. Focus on balance improvement is also recommended.
* Children (6-17 Years): Children should engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, mostly of moderate to vigorous intensity. Activities that strengthen muscle and bone should be included at least 3 days a week.

Finding Time to Exercise

It can be challenging to fit exercise into a busy life. It's hard to find time, especially with other responsibilities. Staying motivated is also a challenge. To get the long-term benefits, try to see daily activities as a chance to exercise and consider getting a personal trainer.

It's important to stop making excuses for not exercising. It would help if you thought positively about moving your body. Regular exercise can help improve your mind and body. Beating these excuses can make you healthier and happier.

Adding exercise to your daily life is good for you. You can do this with minor changes.

Try to make exercise a daily habit for long-term health.

When exercise is part of your routine, staying fit and lowering your risk of getting sick is easier.


Mental Benefits of Exercise

Some mental benefits of exercise are:

  • Mood Booster: Exercise makes you feel happier. When you work out, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These are like natural mood lifters that make you feel good.
  • Stress Relief: Working out is great for reducing stress. It helps take your mind off worries and can also lower the levels of stress hormones in your body.
  • Better Sleep: Regular exercise can help you sleep better. It helps you fall asleep faster and deepens your sleep.
  • Increased Self-Esteem: When you exercise regularly, you often feel better about yourself. You might feel stronger, more confident, and proud of what your body can do.
  • Sharper Mind: Exercise helps keep your brain sharp. It boosts blood flow to the brain, which can improve your memory and thinking skills.
  • More Energy: Although it might sound strange, moving more actually gives you more energy. Regular exercise can make you feel more awake and ready to tackle the day.
  • Helps with Anxiety and Depression: Exercise can be really helpful for people dealing with anxiety or depression. It's like a natural treatment that can really make a difference in how you feel.

Exercising regularly has a big impact on brain health. 7 It helps with your mood and lowers anxiety and depression. It also keeps your mind sharp and helps you sleep better.

Plus, it can makes you feel better about yourself as your fitness improves.

Studies show that moving your body helps your mind and thinking skills. Mental health is just as important as physical health.


Sitting Too Much is Bad for You

Sitting around too much can cause health problems. 8 But regular exercise can help you avoid the consequences of sitting all day.

Health Dangers of Sitting Too Much
  • Heart Problems: Sitting too long can make your blood pressure go up and increase bad cholesterol levels. This ups the chance of heart diseases.
  • Weight Gain and Metabolic Problems: Not moving much is linked to getting overweight. An enzyme that helps in burning fat, called lipoprotein lipase, doesn't work as well when you're always sitting.
  • Bone and Muscle Issues: If you sit a lot, you might get back and neck pain. This happens because of bad posture and not using your muscles much.
  • Higher Chance of Type 2 Diabetes: Not moving enough can make it hard for your body to control blood sugar levels. This raises the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
  • Bad Blood Flow in Legs: Sitting for a long time can make blood gather in your legs. This might lead to swollen veins or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a serious clot in a deep vein.
  • Mental Health: Sitting too much might also harm your mental health, leading to problems like anxiety and depression.
  • Shorter Life: Some research shows that sitting a lot can make your life shorter, even if you don't have other health risks.


Fighting the Bad Effects of Sitting
  • Take Breaks Often: Stand up and move around every 30 minutes.
  • Use Standing Desks: Think about using a desk where you can stand or one that lets you switch between sitting and standing.
  • Active Meetings: Suggest meetings where you walk or stand.
  • Exercise Regularly: Work out often outside of work. Even short, intense workouts can help against the bad effects of sitting.
  • Stretch and Move: Do some stretching or light exercises during breaks.
  • Sit Right: Keep a good posture while sitting to avoid hurting your back and neck.
  • Change Your Habits: Try to stand and move more in your everyday life, like using stairs instead of an elevator.


Exercise Helps, But Isn't Everything

Exercise can help you live longer, but it's not the only thing you need. It lowers the risk of illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Exercise is really good for you. It keeps you fit and helps you live longer. it's great for your heart and muscles and for avoiding disease. It also makes you feel better mentally. But remember, exercise alone can't promise a longer life. Exercise is even more effective when combined with healthy eating and mindfulness techniques to reduce stress.

Let's get moving! Find a fun activity, make exercise meaningful, and enjoy all the good things it brings. Let's put on our sneakers, go to the gym, or try a new workout class. A healthy lifestyle is one key to make every day better.



1.Reimers, C. D., Knapp, G., & Reimers, A. K. (2012). Does physical activity increase life expectancy? A review of the literature. Journal of aging research, 2012, 243958.

2.Anderson, E., & Durstine, J. L. (2019). Physical activity, exercise, and chronic diseases: A brief review. Sports medicine and health science, 1(1), 3–10.

3.Pinckard, K., Baskin, K. K., & Stanford, K. I. (2019). Effects of Exercise to Improve Cardiovascular Health. Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 6, 69.

4.Garatachea, N., Pareja-Galeano, H., Sanchis-Gomar, F., Santos-Lozano, A., Fiuza-Luces, C., Morán, M., Emanuele, E., Joyner, M. J., & Lucia, A. (2015). Exercise attenuates the major hallmarks of aging. Rejuvenation research, 18(1), 57–89.

5.Volpi, E., Nazemi, R., & Fujita, S. (2004). Muscle tissue changes with aging. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 7(4), 405–410.

6.Tian, D., & Meng, J. (2019). Exercise for Prevention and Relief of Cardiovascular Disease: Prognoses, Mechanisms, and Approaches. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2019, 3756750.

7.Di Liegro, C. M., Schiera, G., Proia, P., & Di Liegro, I. (2019). Physical Activity and Brain Health. Genes, 10(9), 720.

8.Owen, N., Healy, G. N., Matthews, C. E., & Dunstan, D. W. (2010). Too much sitting: the population health science of sedentary behavior. Exercise and sport sciences reviews, 38(3), 105–113.

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