A recent study by researchers from the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh reveals that regular exercise may prevent 15% of deaths worldwide. That’s a whopping 3.9 million deaths saved globally by physical activity.
According to Well + Good, researchers looked at data from 168 countries and determined what portion of the population exercises for the 150 minutes of moderate to intense weekly exercise recommended by the World Health Organization. They compared these numbers with the risks for premature death that exercise mitigates and came up with their estimate of how many deaths exercise could prevent.
Harvard Health recommends these five exercises to increase health and longevity:
- Swimming. It’s easy on the joints because the water supports your body. Studies have shown that swimming helps elevate your mood and mental state.
- Tai Chi. According to the Mayo Clinic, this gentle Chinese tradition is an excellent way to beat stress and improves a variety of health conditions. It can improve aerobic capacity, increase energy, and improve muscle strength and definition.
- Strength training. Dr. Gabe Mirkin, a renowned expert in sports medicine tells Newsmax that strength training, or resistance training, is the best way to slow down the loss of muscle strength associated with aging. “I believe everyone should do some type of resistance exercise as part of their regular exercise program,” he says, adding that that simple exercises such as pushups, sit-ups, holding a plank position, or doing squats can help stimulate muscles to grow stronger.
- Walking. According to the American Heart Association, walking at a lively pace for 150 minutes a week improves blood pressure and lowers blood cholesterol levels. The AHA estimates that for every hour of brisk walking, life expectancy for some people may increase by two hours.
- Kegel exercises. Kegels are not just for women. According to the Harvard experts, they help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder, which can help prevent incontinence. Simply squeeze the muscles that you use to prevent urination and hold for a few seconds. Repeat 10 times, three or four times daily.
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