A recent large-scale study found that a mere 15 minutes of any exercise – 6 days a week at a moderate intensity – may add 3 years to your life and reduce your chance of dying of cardiovascular disease by 20%, dying of cancer by 10%, and of dying of any illness by 14%.
Some easy ways to get in 15 minutes of exercise are taking a brisk walk, dancing, riding a bike, raking the lawn or playing a wii sports game.
If a little exercise is good, more is even better: Each additional 15 minutes of daily exercise further decreases your risk of illness-related death by 4%, the researchers found. The exercise benefits seen in the study applied to all age groups, both sexes, and even those with heart-disease risk factors.
Bad news for non-exercisers: they had a 17% higher risk of death than those who got 15 minutes of exercise nearly every day, the researchers found.
The study, conducted in Taiwan, examined more than 400,000 people over 8 years, comparing death risks and life expectancy of exercisers with those of inactive people. The findings were published in the British medical journal The Lancet.
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