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March 2024

3 Fitness Tips for a Longer, Healthier Life

Who doesn’t want to add time—and vigor—to their years? One way to do this: through physical activity. 

Regular exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s not just about burning calories or losing weight either. Certain types of movement may be especially good at boosting longevity. Here are 3 tips to help stay fit for a longer life.  

Build and maintain muscle

At any age, good muscle strength enables us to do daily activities and helps lower the risk for cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Yet, if they’re not working to preserve it, the average 30-year-old loses 25% of their muscle strength by age 70. Muscle mass is also key. Losing muscle leads to feeling tired and weak and may directly affect lifespan. Some research shows a person’s muscle mass is a better predictor of longevity than weight or body mass index in adults older than age 55.

Commit to doing 30 to 60 minutes a week of resistance training. Aim for at least 2 sessions and hit all your major muscle groups. Work out with free weights, resistance bands, or body weight exercises like pushups.

Find balance

Balance activities prepare your body to resist forces that cause falls, which are a major cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries at home and work. Strengthening your back, abdominal, and leg muscles will help you stay steady. You should also do exercises meant to improve your balance. Try activities, like standing on one leg, and using a wobble board.

Add intensity

Research shows that doing vigorous exercise can increase your odds of a longer life, even if you already get the recommended 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity a week. Run, jump rope, swim laps, cycle, or take a strenuous class like kickboxing.

In hectic times, any movement is better than none. As the time you spend sedentary increases, so does its negative impact on your health and lifespan.

Thinking of making changes to your fitness routine? First, ask your healthcare provider what activities are right for you. You can also discuss your questions and concerns.



Online Medical Reviewer: Brian McDonough, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals, MPH, BSN, RN
Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2024
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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