Get up off the couch – and add years to your life. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that you can reduce your risk of death by 50 percent, just by staying active as you age. Even walking for 15 to 20 minutes once or twice a day helps. The added challenge to your heart and lungs will extend your "healthspan" even further.
Researchers in the study followed 302 men and women ages 70 to 82 for six years. The mortality rate was 12 percent for the active group, compared to 24 percent for the less-active group. Not surprisingly, the active group climbed more stairs than their sedentary counterparts. Most striking was the revelation that many of the health benefits enjoyed by these seniors were the result of simply continuing to do ordinary daily chores as they aged – like gardening, grocery shopping, and washing the dishes.