People have been searching for the fountain of youth for years. Tales of a life-prolonging substance have been around since 500 BC. But the truth is that such a place does not exist. (Sorry, folks; there is no magical lotion, potion or elixir.) But there are things you can do to increase your lifespan, and according to a new study, one of those things is working out: Women who exercise live longer than those who do not.
The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, analyzed data from the Netherlands Cohort Study — a 20-year sampling that sought to better understand the health of the Dutch. And while the initial project involved more than 120,000 participants, the current study reviewed information from those born in 1916 and 1917 only.
Researchers found women who logged 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity a day were 21 percent more likely to reach 90 than those managing 30 minutes or less, and those who logged 60 minutes were in the best shape of all.
That time proved the optimal threshold.
Other factors that impacted a woman’s lifespan included her height and weight. Women who are 175 centimeters (5 feet, 9 inches) or more are 31 percent more likely to reach the age of 90 than their shorter counterparts, i.e., women less than 160 centimeters, or 5 feet, 3 inches, and women who weighed less at the start of the study also fared better.
It is important to note that this was an observational study, meaning a cause cannot be established. What’s more, information on body size and physical activity was self-reported, which might have affected the results. However, researchers believe there is a correlation. So strap on your sneaks and start logging some steps. Your future self will thank you.