Here’s some very good news about the connection between regular moderate exercise and longevity. Not just a longer life but a healthier, more enjoyable and more fruitful life!
If you really don’t like to work out—or if, like me, you’re feeling your age more and more and just have to slow down a bit—this is for us!
I recently came across three online articles about the benefits of moderate exercise. I’ll just give you a brief synopsis of each, then send you to the full article if you’d like to read further:
“Even Light Activity is Healthier than Previously Thought”
Light activities—like gardening, walking your dog, even vacuuming—contributed to a 50-70% decline in mortality rates in two separate studies.
One was from Harvard, the other from an institution in Sweden. They both agreed that “subjects who moved a lot enjoyed a substantial longevity benefit over those who moved little.”
The important finding is that it’s not just about a 30-60 minute workout each day. The study participants who sat the least (less than 6 hours a day) showed a 66% lower mortality risk than those who sat the most (more than 10 hours a day).
Read The Washington Post article here. (to read it you’ll need to sign up for a free subscription)
The Activity and Longevity Connection for Over-40s
This article from Vitality Living website refers to a medical journal article that found:
“Even a modestly active lifestyle can add years to one’s life, with high levels of activity adding even greater health benefits.”
It mentions this other important point: physical activity isn’t the only factor for a meaningful and long life. But it’s a definite key.
Read the Vitality Living article here.
Added Years + Better Quality of Life
And finally, the National Institute on Aging supports this, too: “…exercise and physical activity are considered a cornerstone of almost every healthy aging program. Scientific evidence suggests that people who exercise regularly not only live longer, they live better.”
The same article refers to studies that are finding that even adults who start exercising in their 60s and 70s will improve their heart health. Balance, fatigue, breathlessness—all are common with older people, and all are improved with moderate exercise.
Put simply: It’s never too late to start!
This article goes into several other lifestyle choices we can make to improve our health: the right amount of sleep, a diet rich in the right foods, a healthy community.
All of them (and more) don’t just benefit our health but give us a better quality of life.
Read the NIA article here.
God’s Purpose for Our Whole Life
As Christians, one of the things to keep in mind is it’s not just about us living a long life. Or even just about living a long life free of disability.
Both of those are amazing, but there’s more for us.
It’s about fruitfulness for God’s kingdom for as long as we’re living this life He gave us.
The healthier we are—body, soul, mind and spirit—the better able we are to keep pursuing God’s call for our lives—and the more we’ll be able to enjoy it!
This is what I ask myself: What am I willing to commit to in order to get and stay healthy? Is fruitfulness for God’s kingdom enough motivation for me to make healthy choices every day?
It can be SO easy for us to keep putting off those choices because we don’t feel like it…or are too busy…or whatever.
The kicker is, that’s one thing we can’t outsource to someone else!
Back to moderate exercise—if the word exercise makes you cringe, use a different word. Moderate activity. Just move more. We can do it!