|Doing a cute and staying healthy. Source: Tommy Wong (CC2.0)|
Another long-term study also showed a significant benefit of exercise on mortality rates. This was the second part of the Oslo study, that followed thousands of men born between 1923 and 1932. Over 5,700 of the surviving men chose to participate again in a second health check in the year 2000, and were monitored for another 12 years. In 2000, their ages were between 68 and 77, older than the participants of the above study. After 12 years, the results showed that exercise of any intensity for at least 30 minutes, 6 days a week, was linked with a 40% reduced risk of dying from any cause - even though they were now aged between 80 and 89. Regular moderate-vigorous physical activity was shown to add 5 years onto their lives! Less than one hour a week of light exercise did not reduce the risk of death, but the same amount of vigorous exercise reduced it by 23-37%. The death rate for people who did more than an hour of light exercise per week was 32-56% lower. The overall results were said to match the health benefits of quitting smoking. Actually, a 2002 study of over 877,000 Americans showed that quitting at age 35 extended life by 6.9-8.5 years in men, and 6.1-7.7 years in women. Quitting at age 65 extended life by 1.4-2 years for men and 2.7-3.7 years for women. Another found that quitting extended life in women by 10 years; this was a long-term study of over one million women. On top of this, quitting smoking can make exercise more enjoyable by allowing the lungs to repair themselves.