It’s the oldest cliché. With every passing birthday, we hear the phrase “age is just a number.” However, science is starting to agree.
According to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the results of a simple exercise stress test can say a lot when it comes to how old you actually are. Researchers examined over 125,000 individuals who underwent an exercise stress test to assess whether their age based on exercise performance was a bigger indicator of survival than their actual age.
Your age based on exercise performance is a better predictor of how long you will live than your actual age. Even better news it that over 55% of males and 57% of women between the ages of 50 and 60, were found to be younger in exercise capacity than actual years.
What does this mean for you?
If we could ever think of the perfect motivator to exercise, this would be it. You can literally keep your heart younger with every step you take. We know this sounds easier said than done. Here are few tips to keep being active, while keeping your heart young:
Find your Beat
Exercise does not have to mean going to the gym. Physical activity comes in many shapes and you can pick the one that resonates with you the most. Whether this is a group fitness class, an evening walk with your spouse, or a dance class, every minute spent moving around benefits your heart.
Limit the Time you Spend Sitting
Many researchers have equated sitting for the entire workday with smoking. While the research for this correlation is up in the air, healthcare providers unanimously agree that sitting for an extended period of time is harmful. Many of us have stationary jobs but that does not mean we are tied to our desks. If your job is a desk job, try a standing desk to help limit the time you sit. You can also use your breaks to take a lap around the office. Bonus points, this also improves your productivity. Even the simple act of tapping your feet can be beneficial.
Break it Up
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 150 minutes of physical activity a week. That is about 30 minutes, five days a week. However, for many people with a robust schedule, this seems overwhelming. The good news is that the AHA says even broken up, this time is beneficial. For example, 10 minutes in the morning, afternoon, and evening is just as valuable.