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Exercise May Be More Important Than Genes for Long Life

A study by scientists at the University of California San Diego found that even if you are genetically predisposed to live a long life, you need regular physical activity to make the most of your predisposition. And if your genes make a shorter lifespan more likely, you can still extend it with exercise.

The researchers monitored 5,446 women aged 63 or over for a period of 8 years. They measured the duration and intensity of their physical activity, as well as how long they spent sitting down. They found that the links between exercise and longevity held for all participants, regardless of their genetically suggested lifespan.

In addition to increasing lifespan, regular exercise has plenty of other benefits, such as improving mental health, slowing the effects of aging, helping you stay healthier for longer, and even boosting your memory. Healthy adults up to 65 should do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on 4-5 days a week, say experts. This adds up to 2.5 hours a week, or at least 1.25 hours of vigorous exercise a week.

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