Life extension is one of the most popular research topics in the world right now. You might have heard what scientists have learned about calorie restriction, for example. Many studies have found that if you cut calories from an animal’s diet, they can live longer. This works with mice, monkeys, and even household pets.

But does it work for humans?

Researchers at the University of Florida’s Institute on Aging recently investigated the possibility that calorie restriction could help extend the human lifespan. In this study, human subjects either decreased their dietary intake by 20 percent less than needed to maintain their weight, or they increased their energy expenditure by 20 percent through exercise. (The subjects needed a lot of discipline, because this went on for more than a year.)

The researchers found that both diet and exercise helped reduce oxidative damage to the subjects’ DNA. And they expected that this would have a positive effect on lifespan.

What does this mean for you? It means that you might not have to starve yourself to live longer. Both diet and exercise appear to have the same beneficial effect on the aging process.

Of course, the best thing to do – for both life extension and weight control – is to combine diet and exercise for a double-whammy. Not only will you lose pounds, you could also add years.

[Ed. Note: Combine eating right and exercising to get the best health results. And for a short workout you can do to build muscle and burn fat at the same time, all while getting in and out of the gym in under three hours a week, check out fitness expert Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training program.]

Craig Ballantyne

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