30 minutes of exercise is key to health in old age | Inquirer Lifestyle
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In this April 13, 2010 file photo, women exercise on machines in a gym in central London. January, the start of New Year's resolution month, sees a healthy uptick in sign-ups at gyms and specialized studios offering such things as Pilates, kickboxing and yoga. But money-saving expert Andrea Woroch in Bakersfield, California, said recent statistics show 67 percent of people who join don't use their memberships at all. AP

30 minutes of exercise is key to health in old age

PARIS–Elderly men who do 30 minutes of physical activity six days a week are likely to have a 40-percent lower risk of death compared to couch-potato counterparts, researchers said Friday.

For men in this age group, just a small amount of regular exercise — regardless of intensity — is as beneficial as giving up smoking, they said.

READ: The fit 40-plus family man

The evidence comes from a major project in Norway called the Oslo Study.

In it, doctors enrolled thousands of men born between 1923 and 1932, who were given health checkups and volunteered information about their lifestyle and physical activity.

The initiative was launched in 1972-3 with a first survey among nearly 15,000 men.

In 2000, the survey was repeated among the same group, of whom 12,700 had survived.

Of these 5,700 were able or willing to continue in the research. By 2011, deaths reduced this total to just under 3,600.

The researchers were struck by the impact of regular physical exercise during the 2000-2011 period, when the volunteers were aged in their seventies or eighties.

“A mortality reduction of 40 percent was associated with a moderate use of time (30 minutes, six days a week) irrespective of whether the activity was light or vigorous,” their study said.

READ: Why older people shouldn’t stop exercising

Among those who exercised vigorously — defined as hard training several times a week — the lifespan was a whopping five years longer than among those who were sedentary.

The study, led by Ingar Holme, a professor at the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, is published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Volunteers who took part in the study after the relaunch in 2000 were the healthiest survivors of the original batch, which potentially skews some of the data.

But even when this is taken into account, the benefits of regular exercise were clear, the authors said.

“Physical activity should be targeted to the same extent as smoking with respect to public health prevention efforts in the elderly,” they said.

  • Pinay Aquino

    Mag-exercise tayo tuwing umaga para ang katawan natin ay sumigla!!

    • sanjuan683

      Good for you….. Yoyoy

  • virgoyap

    True enough. I’m already 77 exercising about 30 minutes and 6 days a week.

    • EnoughNa

      Good for you! Here’s wishing you a longer, healthier, and happier life :)

      • virgoyap

        Thank you.

    • mariovill1950

      Do you include sexercise in your regimen? If you do, what’s the frequency? Is it the more the better? Does you do it with a younger partner? Please reply and CHEERS!

      • virgoyap

        Exercise plus a proper diet. Fruits and vegetables really help with an egg a day. I’m doing this alone every morning. My wife who is also on her 70s has her own lifestyle because she is active in Church activities.

      • mariovill1950


  • Manuruk

    Instead of low intensity exercise for 30 minutes every day, consider 26 minutes twice weekly of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT of 8 cycles, each cycle consisting of high intensity exercise for 30 seconds and low intensity exercise for 90 seconds plus warm up and warm down). The old body needs to recuperate; hence, do not do HIIT daily. Low intensity exercises like walking are beneficial but not as much as HIIT. Google it.

  • sanjuan683

    Kaya pala si Nognog tumagal ang buhay dahil yun millions niya nilagay sa kahon at binubuhat niya araw-araw exercise nga naman.

  • sambatangan

    I agree. However, what you put in your system is as important. Exercise alone will not stop someone to have diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etcetera.

  • 33Sambuang

    What kind of exercise? Also, it doesn’t mention the importance of sex for older people.

  • jgl41456

    Kaya pala buhay pa si Binay 6 days a week nageexercise sa kabibilang ng pera, kadedeposit at kawiwitdraw sa 242 accounts niya sa napakaraming banko.