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Just a Little Exercise Can Increase Your Life-Span

Getting just a little bit of exercise may help you live longer according to a study published in the August 2009 issue of the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

The study, conducted at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, included 4,400 healthy middle-aged and older US adults.

Fitness levels were measured between 1986 and 2006 using treadmill tests, and the participants were then followed for an average of 9 years.

The researchers separated the participants into five groups based on their performance in the tests. They found that an astounding 25% of the least fit group (lowest 20%) died during the study period compared to only 13% of the next least fit group. Only 6% of the fittest group (top 20%) died during the follow-up period.

These numbers remained constant even when factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes were taken into account.

While just about everyone understands that exercising more can lead to a longer life, these findings show that even the bare minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily (like brisk walking) can have a huge effect on general health and risk of mortality.

Here are a few great ways to make moderate exercise a part of your daily routine:

1. Exercise by doing household chores: Lawn mowing, vacuuming, gardening, raking leaves or washing your car. By putting a little extra energy into these chores you can burn calories while maintaining the household.

2. Yoga: This is a great low intensity exercise that will energize your body and ease your mind.

3. Walking: Walk your dog, take a stroll through the park or make it a family outing. By adding a little speed to your usual stroll (doctors recommend about 100 steps per minute) you can get your daily exercise while enjoying the outdoors.

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