Tags: exercise | diet | longevity | senior | life | expectanct

Exercise, Diet Boosts Longevity

Monday, 04 Jun 2012 10:38 AM




It’s never too late to start an exercise program or adopt a healthier diet. That’s the key finding of a new study that found even women in their 70s who exercise and eat lots of fruits and vegetables have a longer life expectancy.
The research, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found women who were most physically active and had the healthiest diets were eight times more likely to survive the five-year study period than the women with the lowest rates.
"Given the success in smoking cessation, it is likely that maintenance of a healthy diet and high levels of physical activity will become the strongest predictors of health and longevity," said lead researcher Dr. Emily J. Nicklett, from the University of Michigan School of Social Work. “Programs and policies to promote longevity should include interventions to improve nutrition and physical activity in older adults.”
For the study, researchers from UM and Johns Hopkins University studied 713 women in their 70s who took part in the Women's Health and Aging Studies. To calculate the amount of fruits and vegetables the women ate, they measured blood levels of carotenoids — beneficial plant compounds the body turns into antioxidants, such as beta-carotene. Study participants were also surveyed about their physical activity.
The women were then followed to determine links between healthy eating, exercise and survival rates.
Key research findings:
• More than half of the 713 participants didn't exercise at all, 21 percent were moderately active, and 26 percent were most active.
• During the five-year study period, 11.5 percent of the participants died. Carotenoid levels were 12 percent higher in the women who survived and total physical activity was more than twice as high.
• Women in the most active group had a 71 percent lower five-year death rate than the least active women. Women in the highest carotenoid group had a 46 percent lower five-year death rate than the women in the lowest group.

© HealthDay

   
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Women in their 70s who exercise and eat lots of fruits and vegetables have a longer life expectancy.
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2012-38-04
Monday, 04 Jun 2012 10:38 AM
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