Many of us know that regular exercise helps us live longer, but how much exercise give us the most bang for our metaphysical buck? For those of us with an aversion to exercise or who might simply be time poor, we may ask ‘What is the least amount of moderate exercise we can do each day and still gain a longevity benefit?’
If you want to live longer, the answer, based on extensive research by epidemiologist I-Min Lee of Harvard Medical School, is 11 minutes. Just 11 minutes. Rigorous studies completed by Lee showed that people who exercised for 11 minutes per day added 1.8 years to their life when compared with non-exercisers.
So, if your time is precious and you’re interested in expanding your life span, you can simply go for a quick, brisk daily walk and automatically live longer. If walking is not your style, you might prefer to engage in some vigorous gardening, cleaning, bike riding or play-time with the kids. It’s good to know you can reap the benefits of exercise with such minimal time and effort.
Accordingly, those interested in taking this one step further may be curious to know how many minutes of daily exercise needed in order to reap the MAXIMUM number of extra years’ life: The answer to this is 43 minutes per day. Just 43 minutes of moderate exercise could increase your life span by 4.2 years. After 43 minutes the longevity benefit is negligible though other health benefits such as increased lean muscle mass, more energy, fat loss & improved quality of life may occur. However, if you’re simply searching for the holy grail of longevity optimisation in the most effective time frame, your magic numbers are 11 and 43.
How much time can you spare each day to add years to your life?
REFERENCE: Harvard Scientific Magazine March 2013 Edition. http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/03/cheating-the-reaper