Taking up exercise in later life helps slash the risk of dying young, research suggests

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OVER-40s who take up exercise slash their risk of dying early by nearly a quarter, research has found.

And those who do more than the NHS’s recommended 150 minutes a week reduce their risk by almost half.

'The simple message is, the more exercise, the better'
Getty – Contributor

‘The simple message is, the more exercise, the better’[/caption]

Cambridge University, which studied 15,000 Brits aged 40 to 79, said the results prove it is never too late to start exercising — or to boost existing fitness levels.

Lead researcher Soren Brage added: “The simple message is, the more exercise, the better.”

His team looked at the participants’ exercise levels over 21 years.

Activity included walking, gardening, cycling and other sports. Participants included cancer survivors and those with heart problems.

The scientists found the fittest people — who were already exceeding the 150-minute recommendation — experienced the greatest boost to their longevity by raising their activity levels.

On average they were 42 per cent less likely to die during the study.

And couch potatoes who started meeting the recommended activity levels  made themselves 24 per cent less likely to die during the 21 years.

The  study, published in the British Medical Journal, also found that all older adults saw a “substantial” boost to life expectancy by being more active — no matter what their initial fitness.


The study concluded: “These results are encouraging not least for middle-aged and older adults with cardiovascular disease and cancer, who can still gain substantial longevity benefits by becoming more active.”

Huw Edwards, from health body UKactive, said: “This  provides further evidence against the outdated idea that people should do less as they age or while managing a long-term illness.

“The time has come for a total rethink of how we approach our later years.”

Cambridge University results prove it is never too late to start exercising
Getty – Contributor

Cambridge University results prove it is never too late to start exercising[/caption]

'The time has come for a total rethink of how we approach our later years'
Alamy

‘The time has come for a total rethink of how we approach our later years’[/caption]

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