Scientists say that moderate but regular exercise can reduce the effects of the ageing process and significantly increase the average life span
A brisk 25-minute walk each day can add seven YEARS to your life.
Health experts have presented new research which proves regular exercise can reduce ageing and increase the average life span.
Sanjay Sharma, a professor of inherited cardiac diseases in sports cardiology, said moderate exercise reduces the risk of dying from a heart attack in your 50s and 60s by half.
He said: “This study is very relevant. It suggests that when people exercise regularly they may be able to retard the process of ageing.”
Professor Sharma – who is based at St George’s University Hospital in London - said everyone should be doing at least between 20 and 25 minutes of walking a day.
He said: “We may never avoid becoming completely old, but we may delay the time we become old.
"We may look younger when we’re 70 and may live into our 90s.
“Exercise buys you three to seven additional years of life. It is an anti-depressant, it improves cognitive function and there is now evidence that it may retard the onset of dementia.”
If you know that something is 20 minutes away, try and walk it if you’ve got time and not take the bus.
“People with a heart condition shouldn’t run but walk to a point where they can still speak - but they shouldn’t be able to sing.
“Following these simple directions is essential considering our sedentary lifestyles.”
He said exercise will bring benefits whatever age or condition.
People who start exercising at the age of 70 are less likely to go on to develop a condition called atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disturbance that affects about 10% of people over 80.
The research was carried out by a team at Saarland University in Germany and presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress
They introduced a group of non-exercising but otherwise healthy and non-smoking people to a staged exercise programme.
It showed that aerobic exercise, high intensity interval training and strength training all have a positive impact on markers of ageing.
Christi Deaton, Florence Nightingale Foundation Professor of Clinical Nursing Research at Cambridge Institute of Public Health said: “The study brings a bit more understanding of why physical activity has that effect.
“The more active you are, and it doesn’t matter when you start, the more benefit you are going to have.
“We recommend people who have cardiovascular disease or had myocardial infarction or heart failure to be physically active, because it’s beneficial for them; so there’s really no reason for healthy people not to exercise as well.”