Are you exercising daily? A new study from Harvard evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman found, that you don’t have to be as active as a hunter-gatherer. Even small amounts of physical activity-just 10-20 minutes of physical activity a day-substantially lower your risk of mortality”. This new study found that exercising later in life can reduce the risk of chronic illness like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and even some cancers. The activity level doesn’t have to be extreme to be effective. Walking is enough! According to Lieberman, “people realize that exercise is healthy in part because it slows or prevents processes that are unhealthy (e.g. weight gain, excess sex steroid levels), we also show that the other reason exercise is healthy is that it turns on repair & maintenance processes to counter the stress (structural and molecular) that physical activity causes.
Lieberman’s findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and summarized in the Harvard Gazette on November 22, 2021. He hypothesizes, “humans have evolved to keep physically active as they age, and that doing so allocates energy to processes that slow the body’s gradual deterioration.” Simply put, “our bodies need physical activity to age well.” The more exercise the better, but you need at least 10 minutes of exercise a day.
A study published in 2018 which I blogged about broke down various sports on how they effected longevity. Playing tennis was the most beneficial extending life expectancy by 9.7 years relative to the sedentary control group.
Here is the list:
Tennis- 9.7 years
Badminton- 6.2 years
Soccer- 4.7 years
Cycling- 3.7 years
Swimming- 3.4 years
Jogging- 3.2 years
Health Club Activities- 1.5 years
According to Lieberman, the message is “as we get older, it becomes even more important to stay physically active.” It’s never too late to start exercising. If you need help optimizing your function so you can exercise, the chiropractors at Performance Health Center are here for you.