PHYSICAL ACTIVITY CAN SAVE WOMEN OVER 70

  • by: Fondazione Valter Longo Onlus Editorial Staff
  • November 24th, 2020

Many believe that when you reach a “certain” age it is necessary to decrease physical activity, especially if it involves heavy or demanding exercises, in order to avoid negative health consequences. Science, on the other hand, shows that physical activity is in fact what can extend the life expectancy of women over 70. This was shown by an American survey published in Circulation in January 2018.

DETAILS OF THE AMERICAN STUDY
This analysis was included in The Women’s Healthy Study that was approved by the IRB of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital at the Longwood Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. It was carried out by a group of researchers who followed over 18,000 women 72 years old on average from 2011 to 2015. During the study period, the intensity and duration of physical activity was measured via a triaxial accelerometer that was given to participants. The device was sent to the research center for data analysis and then crossed with medical records, including death certificates, and the National Death Index, and compared with life expectancy. The study examined how women over the age of 70 who practice moderate to intense physical activity live longer than their sedentary counterparts or those who simply walk/do low intensity exercises. In fact, the mortality rate reduced by 60-70%.

TRY TO EXERCISE 150 MINUTES PER WEEK
The experts recommend approaching physical activity gradually and consistently, even and especially in old age. The international guidelines indicate 2.5 hours of physical activity per week divided into two days per week. Simply exercising one day isn’t enough to improve performance. The intensity of training must increase gradually, and be combined with body weight exercises and weight-lifting. If you are not experienced enough when you start, it is better to get help from a personal trainer, as well as have your doctor’s approval, especially if you suffer from certain diseases.

SOURCES

Lee IM et Al – Accelerometer-Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Relation to All-Cause Mortality -The Women’s Health Study – Circulation (2018 Jan)

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