If you are planning to join the gym for years and always scheduling your early morning jogging for tomorrow, make up your mind fast as a large study has found that even small amounts of vigorous activity could help reduce your risk of early death.
Physical activity that makes you puff and sweat is key to avoiding preventable early death, the findings of the large Australian study of middle-aged and older adults showed.
"The benefits of vigorous activity applied to men and women of all ages, and were independent of the total amount of time being spent active," said lead author Klaus Gebel from James Cook University in Queensland, Australia.
"The results indicate that whether or not you are obese, and whether or not you have heart disease or diabetes, if you can manage some vigorous activity it could offer significant benefits for longevity," Gebel noted.
For the study, the researchers followed 204,542 people for more than six years, and compared those who engaged in only moderate activity (such as gentle swimming, social tennis, or household chores) with those who included at least some vigorous activity (such as jogging, aerobics or competitive tennis).
The study classified participants into separate groups: those who reported that none of their physical activity was at a vigorous level, and those who reported that up to 30 percent or more of their activity was at a vigorous level.
The mortality rate for those who reported upto 30 per cent vigorous activity, was nine per cent lower than those who reported no vigorous activity.
For those whose exercise routine was vigorous for more than 30 percent of the time, the rate of mortality was reduced by 13 percent.
The findings appeared in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.