The Secret to a Longer, Healthier Life

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Midlife fitness could be the key to living to age 85 or older, according to recent research, but it may not be as difficult as some health guidelines suggest.

Government guidelines suggest 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week or 20 minutes of more intense exercise three times a week, plus weight training for 20 minutes twice a week, but that might be much more than what’s really necessary, according to cardiologist Donald Lloyd-Jones at Northwestern University and other doctors, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Starting any exercise regimen may be daunting for the less active, but there are obvious benefits from increasing your activity.

If you’re not fit in your 50s, your life span may be eight years shorter than people who are fit at that age, according to a study presented at a recent American Heart Association conference. And if you are fit then, you could double your chances of living to age 85.

According to the study, which examined 1,765 people in the 1970s and ‘80s and followed them to 2006, men were 1.8 times as likely to live to 85 if they were fit in their 50s and women were 2.2 times as likely to live to 85.

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