Exercise and Life Expectancy

The Wall Street Journal on the potency of exercise: "So what do boomers need to do not just to survive to 85, but to live healthy lives into old age? ... The most important strategy, according to the latest research to look at the question, is to be physically active in middle age. 'If you are fit in mid-life, you double your chance of surviving to 85.' ... Put another way: If you're not fit in your 50s, your projected life span 'is eight years shorter than if you are fit.' ... [These findings] are based on an analysis of 1,765 men and women who had physical examinations performed during the 1970s and 1980s at the Cooper Institute, the Dallas-based birthplace of the aerobics movement. They are a reminder that despite an array of effective drugs and other medical advances, the front line for most of us in the battle to prevent heart disease and survive into old age lies in adopting healthy living habits. ... The report also underscores the importance of physical activity in maintaining overall health: Fitness even trumped smoking cessation in the magnitude of benefit among participants in the study - though not by much. The combination of being physically fit, not smoking and having low blood pressure was a powerful predictor of longevity."

Link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703954904575109673558885594.html

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