A recent study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that benefits of exercise in older men does NOT just come from rigorous exercise. This study basically compared sedentary activity, moderate exercise, and rigorous exercise in older men aged 71 to 92 years old. Those individuals that participated in light to moderate and rigorous exercise saw a decreased mortality rate, compared to those with a sedentary lifestyle.
This type of information is nothing new. However, when comparing those that participated in light exercise to heavy exercise, the results were not that much different. Putting this in laymen’s terms, you do NOT necessarily need to become a workout freak, at an older age, to benefit.
Basically, any kind of regular exercise or even movement is beneficial compared to being a couch potato. Believe it or NOT even activities like mowing the lawn are quite beneficial. 3,137 men were asked to take part in a follow study in 2010.
From 1978-1980 thousands of men were asked to participate in this study originally. 1,655 men participated in this follow up in 2010. These men were measured by nurses and participated in health questionnaires.
They were required to wear an ActiGraph GT3x accelerometer. There mortality rates were documented by all causes. After about a five year followup, 184 deaths were counted out of 1181 men.
None of these men had any cardiovascular problems. What I found interesting is that rigorous exercise was NOT more beneficial than light activities or exercise. Actually the mortality rate was lower with light activity compared to rigorous activity.
Those that were sedentary, had a higher mortality rate than either of the two groups that participated in any kind of activity and or exercise. Sedentary breaks were NOT included in this study. Light activities such as gardening, walking, mowing the lawn, etc. prolonged these test subjects’ lives.
Vigorous rigorous activity did NOT decrease the mortality rate in these individuals, when compared to light activity.