a_little_exercise_insidea.jpgWe all know that leading an active lifestyle positively affects our health, but new research shows you don't need a workout that mimics that of a professional athlete. Moderate exercise, when done consistently over time, is just as beneficial as a hard core fitness regime.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine says that people who start exercising early in life tend to be more physically fit as they reach old age. What's interesting about this is that the research indicated that even 30 minutes of moderate physical activity is enough for most people.

The study involved about 2,400 men and women from England and Australia who participated in the UK Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development. Led by Rachel Cooper at the Medical Research Council in the United Kingdom, a team of scientists asked the participants about how much and what types of exercise they were getting at 36, 43, and 53 years of age.

The participants were then assessed on how easily they got up from a chair. According to the researchers, "the chair test is a marker of lower body strength, power, and cardiovascular fitness." Information gleaned from this test showed that people who exercised five or more times each month "had less trouble getting up from a chair, compared with those who were either inactive or only moderately active (exercising one to four times a month)."

An article on the study published on Medscape.com says, "Only 35 percent of people in the study who were the most active in the group at age 53 years met the recommended level of at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity 5 times a week, indicating that higher levels of physical activity may not even need to be achieved for there to be beneficial effects on physical performance."

For tips on living a healthier lifestyle, check out these FN articles:
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(Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr Creative Commons)
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