New Study Shows These 3 Simple Activities Can Help You Live A Longer Life

We all know there are things we can do to stay healthy, like eating well, drinking enough water, reducing stress, and getting enough exercise. And a new study emphasized the importance of regular exercise, showing that three activities in particular can contribute to a longer life.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Americans should be getting 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week. That works out to as little as 25 minutes of something like brisk walking each day, and doing so has been shown to prevent disease, improve sleep, and improve mental and emotional health. It can also help improve cognitive function, like memory, attention, academic tasks, and planning and organizing. Physical activity is important for all ages, but can be especially helpful for older adults in reducing the likelihood of falls and injuries.

Move your body to live longer

In a new study published in JAMA Network Open, researchers from the National Cancer Institute analyzed surveys from the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study, a long-term study that followed 272,550 adults between the ages of 59 and 82 to explore the connection between diet and health. Participants completed surveys about their leisure time activities from 2004-2005, with researchers tracking their health and mortality through 2019. They found that 7.5-15 hours per week of any type of leisure activity, like running, cycling, swimming, other aerobic exercise, racquet sports, golf, and walking, resulted in lower mortality risk.

Specifically, the three activities that had the biggest impact on mortality were racket sports, running, and walking (via CNN). Racket sports, like tennis or racquetball, reduced the risk of death from heart disease by 27% and reduced the likelihood of an early death by 16%. Cancer risk was reduced by 19% in those who participated in running, with the risk of early death reduced by 15%. Walking for exercise, the most common activity, came in third.

Researchers also emphasized that although there were differences in activities, any physical activity is associated with greater longevity and reduces your risk of mortality.