Study: regular, lifelong exercise keeps the body decades younger

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MUNCIE, Ind. (WOWO): A new Ball State University study shows that the more you exercise, the more you delay the effects of aging.

Cardiovascular and Skeletal Muscle Health with Lifelong Exercise, an analysis of septuagenarians who have been exercising for decades, found that they have heart and lung capacities and muscle fitness like healthy people in their early 40’s.

“‘Exercise wins’ is the take-home message,” said Scott Trappe, director of Ball State’s Human Performance Laboratory and leader of the 11-person research team. “We saw that people who exercise regularly year after year have better overall health. These 75-year-olds — men and women — have similar cardiovascular health to a 40- to 45-year-old.”

The average participant in the study exercised about five days a week, for a weekly total of seven hours.

Scott Trappe, director of Ball State’s Human Performance Laboratory and leader of the 11-person research team, said the benefits of the study should be obvious for the average person: 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day may be the key to a healthy life.

“If you want to put 30 to 45 minutes of walking in one day, the amount of health benefit you are going to get from that is going to be significant and substantial,” he said. “Will it equal the person training for competitive performances? No. But, it will outdo the couch potato. In basic terms, 30 to 45 minutes of any type of exercise a day is beneficial.”

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