Free miracle cure! Reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50%! If there was a pill with these sort of success rates people would be queuing up to buy them. But why stand in a queue? Just walk around briskly and take some exercise and that’s the sort of health benefits you can expect.

As a bonus it can also improve your sleep quality, give you more energy and reduce the risk of mental health diseases such as depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

And it doesn’t have to be pumping iron down the gym. Regular movement is just a important – so if you commute, walk quickly to the train or bus and keep adding those minutes up throughout the day. Sedentary jobs and lifestyles are a big killer.

You need a balance of regular movement as well as muscle gain (resistance training) and aerobic exercise – plenty of walking is good but you also need a couple of sessions of vigorous (i.e. make you breath hard) exercise for the biggest benefits.


  • recreational exercise is not associated with increased osteoarthritis – but high impact forces and twisting motions do
  • Thinning of shock-absorbing cartilage is a key feature of ageing but physical activity appears to reduce this thinning

It’s Never Too Late To Start Exercising

Total mortality after changes in leisure time physical activity in 50 year old men – Byberg et al
Increased physical activity in middle age is eventually followed by a reduction in mortality to the same level as seen among men with constantly high physical activity.


Benefits of exercise – NHS
up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer

The Body’s Fuel Sources – Human Kinetics
An excerpt from Endurance Sports Nutrition, Third Edition by Suzanne Girard Eberle.
Great summary of the how and when the body uses carbohydrate, protein, and fat.

23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health? – DocMikeEvans (YouTube)
Full of useful information in an easy to absorb presentation.

Non-vigorous physical activity and all-cause mortality: systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. – Woodcock, Franco, Orsini, Roberts
Compared with no activity, moderate activity reduces your mortality risk:
by 19% for 2.5 hours/week activity
by 24% for 7 hours per week activity

Latest News

Activity increases healthspan in older adults – News Medical – 23-Jul-2018
1,500 Australians aged over 50 followed for 10 years.
People with the highest activity levels still in optimal physical and mental shape.
Half the chance of stroke, heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Greatest reduction in those exceeding 5000 metabolic equivalent minutes each week.
Almost 10x the World Health Organization recommendation.

Heavy physical work linked to earlier death in men – NHS – 15-May-2018
Physical activity assessed by questionnaire or wearing a device.
Categorised jobs into sedentary, low, moderate and high activity.
High activity workers 18% more likely to die during study then low level.
No significant difference in women.
Non-significant difference in high versus sedentary work in men.
Meta-study of more than 190,000 participants.
Followed for around 20 years – 19% of them died during this period.

37% of people in the UK never exercise – Kantar – 5-Apr-2018
37% of UK respondents said they never exercise or play sport.
Just 13% say they exercise regularly (five times per week).
Slightly better than European average.
Participation have not changed substantially since 2013.
Informal settings more popular than clubs and gyms.
Men engage in physical activity more than women.
Amount of regular activity that people do tends to decrease with age.
COMMENT: discounting “I was going to” respondents it’s probably even less

Exercise in old age prevents immune system from declining – BBC News – 8-Mar-2018
Cyclists in their 80s had the immune systems of 20-year-olds.
Immune system decline makes older people more susceptible to infections.
Endurance cyclists were producing the same level of T-cells as adults in their 20s.
Did not lose muscle mass or strength, nor see an increase in body fat .
Could prevent conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and, potentially, cancer.

Hot yoga has no health benefits over other yoga – New Scientist – 19-Jan-2018
Most forms of yoga are thought to aid relaxation and muscle strengthening. But hot yoga, which typically involves going through a strenuous 26 poses over 90 minutes in a warm and humid room.
The study suggested 33 middle-aged adults who were previously sedentary did a three-month course of either hot yoga or similarly high-intensity yoga at a normal temperature.
Both yoga groups showed improvements in the health of their blood vessels compared with the control group.
But the study found out that the practice may offer little benefit over similarly-paced yoga at a more normal temperature.

Sarcopenia and CRP – LEAF Science – 16-Jan-2018
Everyone experiences some degree of muscle mass loss, sarcopenia, after age 40 or 50.
Consequence of inflammaging — a chronic, low-grade inflammatory status.
One of the inflammaging biomarkers is the C-reactive protein (CRP).
CRP levels significantly higher in elderly subjects with low muscle mass.
In vitro tests show exposure to CRP leads to a reduction in the size of muscle cells.

Middle-aged can reverse heart risk with exercise – BBC News – 8-Jan-2018
Study analysed hearts of people aged 45-64 with no history of exercising regularly.
Progressive aerobic exercise over the two years saw improvement in heart health.
Maximum oxygen intake improved, as did plasticity in the left ventricular muscle.
Result was a reversal of decades of a sedentary lifestyle on the heart.
Benefits not seen in people taking yoga and weight training.
Heart appears to retain ability to remodel itself up to the age of 65.

Doing housework can extend your life – New Scientist – 21-Sep-2017
One in 12 deaths could be prevented with 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week.
That’s the conclusion from the world’s largest study of physical activity, which analysed data from more than 130,000 people across 17 countries.
People who spent more than 750 minutes walking briskly each week reduced their risk of premature death by 36 per cent.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) Can Slow Aging – Care2 – 11-Sep-2017
Recent research has shown that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) may actually reduce and reverse longterm damage done to mitochondria—the powerhouse of the cell.
Those who practiced HIIT had increased numbers and health in their mitochondria, which, long term, can actually slow cellular aging.
HIIT involves doing a particular exercise at 100 percent effort for short bursts of time (30 seconds-3 minutes), usually with 30 second rest periods in between. Generally, workouts range between 10-30 minutes.

Study Identifies Factors that Affect Frailty – Health in Aging – 5-Sep-2017
A team of researchers decided to find out what factors might predict whether frailty in older men worsens or improves over time.
The researchers examined information gathered from more than 5,000 men aged 65 or older who had volunteered for a study about bone fractures caused by osteoporosis.
According to study activities that preserve strength and exercises that target leg muscles, prevent chronic conditions like diabetes and COPD, and improve social support might be good ways to improve frailty and slow its progression.

Middle-aged told to walk faster – BBC news – 24-Aug-2017
Public Health England urge people between 40-60 to start regular brisk walks.
10 minutes a day could have a major impact, reducing the risk of early death by 15%.
In order to promote physical activities the government agency suggesting a free app, Active 10.

‘Fat but fit’ still risk heart disease – BBC news – 15-Aug-2017
The research in European Heart Journal claims that people who are overweight are at increased risk of heart disease even if they appear medically healthy.
Health data on more than half a million people in 10 European countries, including the UK have been studied.
After a follow-up period of more than 12 years, 7,637 of the people in the study had developed heart disease.
Weight appeared to be a risk factor.

An Hour of Running May Add 7 Hours to Your Life – New York Times – 12-April-2017
2 hours running per week for 40 years adds up to about 6 months.
But expectancy increases by 3.2 years so a net gain of about 2.8 years.
Whatever someone’s pace or mileage, running reduced risk of premature death by almost 40 percent.
Smaller effect seen in walking, cycling and other activities.

Whole-body vibration may be as effective as regular exercise – Kurzweil AI – 16-Mar-2017
WBV can mimic the muscle and bone health benefits of regular exercise — at least in mice.
When the machine vibrates, it transmits energy to your body, and your muscles contract and relax multiple times during each second.
Exercise and WBV enhanced muscle mass and insulin sensitivity in the genetically obese mice.

Heart repair – New Scientist – 8-Feb-2017
Exercise doesn’t just make your heart go faster – it might fix it too.
30 minutes running on a treadmill changed activity in hearts of mice.
Increased activity of genes involved in repairing DNA may help explain why exercise protects against heart disease.

Quantifying the Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Exercise – Fight Aging! – 13-Jan-2017
Rising chronic inflammation is characteristic of aging and the failing immune system.
Less inflammation is a good thing when considering long-term health.
Just one session of moderate exercise can stimulate the immune system, producing an anti-inflammatory cellular response.
Research may contribute to developing new therapies for patients with chronic inflammatory conditions.

1 Thing Doctors Now Say Your Annual Checkup Must Assess – Inc. – 6-Dec-2016
Author Jeff Haden passed a doctor’s routine physical with flying colors just two weeks before having a heart attack.
American Heart Association now says aerobic fitness should be added to the list of vital signs to be checked.
Fitness levels can be a better indicator of your risk of heart disease.
With link to online fitness calculator.

Racquet sports, swimming and aerobics tied to lower risk of early death – WebMD – 29-Nov-2016
People who played racquet sports had an almost 50 percent lower risk of dying from any cause during the 15-year study.
Swimming and aerobics each were associated with a nearly 30 percent lower risk of premature death from any cause.
No significant associations were found for participation in football and running.
Study included 80,000 adults with average age of 52 in England and Scotland.

How not exercising transforms your brain (VIDEO) – Business Insider – 7-Nov-2016
Study of athletes aged between 50-80 who ran an average of 36 miles per week.
Master athlete’s brains get significantly less blood flow after not exercising for 10 days
The hippocampus, which is responsible for building and storing memories, notably got less blood flow to it.
But no impact on cognition tests.

This is the amount of exercise you should be doing every day – Independent – 9-Aug-2016
Current World Health Organisation recommendation is 150 minutes of brisk walking or 75 minutes of running each week.
Big drop in disease risk up to 5x recommended minimum exercise.
Benefit continued to increase up to 15x the minimum, i.e. 19 hours running per week.
higher level of total physical activity is strongly associated with a lower risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, and ischemic stroke.
Meta-study of 74 studies published between 1980 and 2016.

Reduce your risk of death in next decade by a third – Doctors Lounge – 15-Jun-2016
High level of physical activity in over 60s reduces risk of dying over 10 years by 35 percent compared to people who weren’t active at all.
Biggest jump in benefit was achieved at the low level of exercise – even low levels of activity reduced risk by a fifth.
Research included 123,428 people, aged 60 and older.
study presented at the European Society of Cardiology’s EuroPRevent 2016

Running Slows Cancer Growth (in Mice) – Newsmax – 17-Feb-2016
Mice tumors shrink by 50 percent if they spent their free time on a running wheel.
Adrenalin surge moves cancer-killing immune (NK) cells toward the tumors.
Dozens of studies have shown that exercise helps prevent cancer.

Being unfit at 40 accelerates brain ageing – BBC News – 11-Feb-2016
Heart health can affect brain health in later life.
Study of 1,583 people showed that those who were unfit at 40 had smaller brain volume at 60 which indicates accelerated brain ageing.
Don’t delay, get fit today!

Exercise Differences Do Not Produce Longevity Differences in Identical Twins – Fight Aging! – 21-Dec-2016
Life expectancy and exercise are linked robustly in many data sets.
Accelerometers are cheap and ubiquitous so can use them to obtain actual rather than self-reported data on physical activity.
What if people who are more robust and would live longer regardless of exercise tend to exercise more?

Minimal exercise increases life expectancy of over-60s – Express – 3-Aug-2015
Current recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as cycling or walking, every week which may discourage some people. The more exercise the better, but even 15 minutes a week could lower the risk of serious conditions such as strokes, heart disease and certain cancers in over 60s according to research at the Jean Monnet University in France.

Exercising reduces biological age by up to 25 years – New York Times – 1-Jul-2015
Regular exercises have cardiovascular fitness age typically 20 years or more younger than their chronological age. It’s never too late to start.

Elderly people who exercise live five years longer – BBC News – 15-May-2015
Norwegian study shows people doing three hours of exercise a week lived around five years longer than the sedentary. Less than an hour a week of light exercise has no impact.

Swiss activity increases brain power and life expectancy – Le News – 21-Jan-2015
Humans have evolved to live in nature.
Technology is turning us into fast twitch animals.
EEG monitoring shows that exposure to nature reduces activity in the brain’s prefrontal cortex.
Data from 10,000 city dwellers and found a correlation between access to parks and nature and lower levels of mental distress.
Swiss are the second most active in Europe – hiking, cycling, swimming and alpine skiing are the most popular activities.

Sir Muir Gray: “It’s about health span not life span” – BBC Radio 4 – 17-Apr-15
Video interview

Researchers Find Significant Link between Daily Activity and Vascular Health – University of Missouri School of Medicine – 30-Dec-14
Even a few days of inactivity can decrease function in certain vessels

Muscle Mass Beats BMI as Longevity Predictor – Scientific American – 20-Mar-14
3,600 seniors studied – more muscle meant better odds of survival.

Physical activity and gain in life expectancy quantified – Harvard Gazette – 6-Nov-12
1.8 years extra life for 75 minutes of brisk walking per week

Too Much Running Tied to Shorter Life Span – WebMD – 1-Apr-12
More than two to three hours per week and life expectancy starts to reduce

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