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The Impact of Daily Exercise on Longevity: A Comprehensive Review

Friday, September 22nd 2023 10:00am 8 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Longevity is a complex interplay between genetics, environment, lifestyle factors, and daily habits. Among these, the importance of regular exercise in promoting a longer and healthier life is widely acknowledged. Numerous research studies have elucidated the beneficial effects of exercise on various facets of health, including cardiovascular function, weight management, lung health, bone density, and mental health, among others. The aim of this article is to comprehensively explore the influence of daily exercise on longevity, providing a deep dive into its numerous health benefits, supported by research from peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Cardiovascular health

Regular exercise has a profound effect on cardiovascular health. It strengthens the heart muscle, reducing the resting heart rate and increasing the efficiency of blood circulation (Piercy et al., 2018). In turn, this helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels (Cornelissen & Smart, 2013), mitigating the risk of cardiovascular diseases, which are among the leading causes of death globally.

A large-scale study demonstrated that individuals engaging in regular physical activity had a significantly lower risk of heart disease compared to their inactive counterparts (Eijsvogels et al., 2016). The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity for optimal cardiovascular health.

Weight management

Daily exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy weight. It increases the rate of energy expenditure, which is key for weight loss or weight maintenance (Donnelly et al., 2009). By preventing obesity, a key risk factor for several chronic diseases, exercise can help enhance lifespan.

In addition to aiding weight control, regular physical activity improves body composition by increasing muscle mass and reducing fat mass, which can independently confer health benefits (Srikanthan & Karlamangla, 2014). Regular strength training is particularly beneficial in promoting lean muscle mass.

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