Thursday, February 21, 2013

The secret to a long life? Walk 2.5 hours a week and you could extend yours by SEVEN years

  • Just half that may extend life by two years, study finds
  • Experts also suggest that it is possible to be fat and fit

Walking for just two-and-a-half hours a week could add more than seven years to your life, researchers believe.
The study found even half of that is beneficial, with 75 minutes of brisk walking a week enough to extend life by almost two years.
The analysis of the lives of more than 600,000 men and women aged 40 and over also added weight to the idea that it is possible to be fat and fit.
Breath of fresh air: Researchers believe you could add more than seven years to your life just by walking 2.5 hours a week
Breath of fresh air: Researchers believe you could add more than seven years to your life just by walking 2.5 hours a week
The experts from the US government’s medical research agency and Harvard University crunched the results of six previous long-term studies into health and lifestyle.
The analysis focused on moderate exercise – defined as walking fast enough to break into a sweat but slow enough to hold a conversation.
The benefits were clear, with two and a half hours of brisk walking a week adding 3.4 years to life on average. 
Doing twice this added 4.2 years, while walking for seven and a half hours weekly added 4.5 years to life.
The study found that people of a healthy weight who didn't exercise could expect to die 3.1 years earlier than obese people who did stay active
The study found that people of a healthy weight who didn't exercise could expect to die 3.1 years earlier than obese people who did stay active
The biggest gains were seen in people of a healthy weight, where two and a half hours of moderate exercise a week – as recommended by the Government – extended life by more than seven years, the journal PLoS Medicine reported.
However, people of a healthy weight who didn’t exercise could expect to die 3.1 years earlier than obese people who did stay active – a finding that underlines the importance of exercising whatever your weight.
The study also revealed the association between physical activity and life expectancy was similar between men and women, and that black people gained more years of life expectancy than white people.
The relationship between life expectancy and exercise was stronger among those with a history of cancer or heart disease than those with no history of either disease.
Dr I-Min Lee, the study’s senior author, said: ‘We must not underestimate how important physical activity is for health – even modest amounts can add years to your life.’

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top "anti-aging" recommendations:
  • Proper Food Choices: For a comprehensive food guide, see my free nutrition plan. Generally speaking, you should focus your diet on whole, unprocessed foods (organic vegetables, grass-fed meats, raw dairy, nuts, and so forth) that come from healthy, sustainable, local sources, such as small organic farms near your home.
  • For the best nutrition and health benefits, you will want to eat a good portion of your food raw. Personally, I aim to eat about 75 percent of my food raw, including raw eggs.
    Topping the list of foods to avoid is fructose.
    Eat plenty of natural, unprocessed salt with your food, as higher salt intake has been tied to longevity. I recommend Himalayan crystal salt. Also include liberal amounts of naturally fermented foods in your daily diet, which are important for optimal immune function.
  • Comprehensive Exercise Program, including High-Intensity Exercise like Peak Fitness: Even if you're eating the best diet in the world, you still need to exercise effectively to reach your highest level of health. This means incorporating core-strengthening exercises, strength training, stretching and high-intensity activities into your rotation.
  • High-intensity interval training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. I've discussed the importance of Peak Fitness for your health on numerous occasions.
  • Stress Reduction and Positive Attitude: You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional components of your health. Your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease, from heart disease and depression to arthritis and cancer. Effective coping mechanisms and stress management are major factors in promoting longevity, in part because stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), meditation, yoga, prayer, social support and exercise are all ways to help you maintain emotional equilibrium.
  • The Right Amount of Sleep: Not only is sleep important in preventing illness, but recent research suggests it correlates with longevity as well. Not just enough sleep – but the right amount of sleep. In a 22-year twin study,2 adults who slept morethan 8 hours per night, or less than 7, showed increased risk of death. Of course, the quality of your sleep is also important, not just the quantity.
  • Proper Sun Exposure to Optimize Vitamin D: We have long known that it is best to get your vitamin D from sun exposure. If at all possible, I strongly urge you to make sure you're getting out in the sun on a daily basis during the months that UVB rays are able to penetrate the atmosphere. To learn more about how to determine when you can effectively generate vitamin D from sun exposure, please see my previous article, Little Sunshine Mistakes that Can Give You Cancer Instead of Vitamin D.
  • During times when no UVB's are able to penetrate, and hence will not lead to vitamin D production, you can use a safe tanning bed or an oral vitamin D3 supplement. There is preliminary evidence suggesting that oral vitamin D may not provide the identical benefits, but it's still better than none at all.
  • Take High-Quality Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats: Animal-based omega-3 fats are a strong factor in helping people live longer. Many experts believe it's the predominant reason why the Japanese are the longest-lived race on the planet.
  • Get your antioxidants from foods: Good sources include blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, beans, and artichokes. Many may also benefit by adding supplemental astaxanthin as a profoundly potent antixoxidant.
  • Use coconut oil: Another excellent anti-aging food is coconut oil, known to reduce your risk of heart disease andAlzheimer's disease, and lower your cholesterol, among other things.
  • Avoid as Many Chemicals, Toxins, and Pollutants as Possible: This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.
  • Avoid Prescription Drugs: Avoiding drugs and the conventional medical system is a good idea if you want to live a long and healthy life. According to data collected by the National Center for Health statistics, poisoning by prescription drugs has now surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. The most commonly abused prescription painkillers (including OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax, and Soma) now cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.