Vigorous Exercise May Lengthen Lives, Study Finds

April 6, 2015 6:53 PM

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The question of how much vigorous activity we should get has made for some hot debates in recent years. Some studies have suggested that we should routinely engage in vigorous exercise to prevent chronic diseases and early mortality; others have suggested that moderate exercise, but more of it, is just as good. Others have even argued there’s an upper limit to the strenuousness of exercise, beyond which its stress on the body may negate its benefits. But now, a large new study in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that indeed vigorous exercise, regardless of body weight or chronic disease status, can reduce early mortality significantly. And the authors suggest it may finally be time to change those exercise recommendations that are standard in pretty much every corner of the globe.

The researchers from James Cook University and the University of Sydney looked at data tracking over 204,000 participants, 45 and older, for an average of six and a half years. They were divided into three groups: those who engaged in only moderate activity, like leisurely swimming, social tennis, o...

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