What single factor determines how much longer you have to live?
The obvious one is age. After all, if you’re 80, it’s likely you have less time left than someone who is 60.
Genetics are big factor, too. If your parents and grandparents lived long lives, chances are you will, too.
Whether you smoke makes a big difference as well.
But it turns out that there is another longevity factor that is more powerful than any of these.
Physical activity is the number one predictor of lifespan, a new study shows.
The findings were published in The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. Researchers closely followed 3,000 people for three years. The scientist analyzed the subjects’ medical records, gave them lab tests, had them fill out lifestyle surveys, and had them wear fitness trackers.[i]
Researchers used the sum of all this data to determine which factors most accurately predicted mortality risk.
Exercise predicted death risk better than anything else. The more daily physical activity subjects had, the longer they lived.
Dr. Ekaterina Smirnova was the lead author. She said it was surprising that exercise was more predictive of lifespan than “well-established mortality risk factors, such as age, cancer, diabetes, and smoking.”
The #1 Way to Get Yourself to Move More
The bottom line?
Move more to live longer.
Of course, this is easier said than done. We all know that exercising more is good for us. The trick is finding a way to get ourselves to do it.
Other studies show that using a step counter is effective.
An analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at 20 studies that involved 2,700 volunteers. Researchers found that people who use pedometers increase their physical activity by 27%.[ii]
That means they walked about a mile more a day than they did before they started counting their steps.
A Japanese fitness movement sets a goal of 10,000 steps. But the study authors said more modest goals also work to increase activity.
The volunteers also lost weight. And their blood pressure dropped enough to lower their risk of stroke and heart disease.
You can use a FitBit wearable device to count steps. It will run you about $140. Another option is a pedometer. They average a little over $20.
You can’t control your age or genetics. But it turns out that the number one factor that determines how long you will live is entirely in your hands. It’s time to get moving.
Editor’s Note: There’s a town in Italy where a huge percentage of the population lives to 100. And despite their advanced age, the residents still are able to work, have fun, and even have satisfying sex lives.
Scientists recently did a detailed study to discover the town’s secret. Yes, the Mediterranean diet is one of them. But the residents did something else that gave them extraordinary longevity and vigor.
Find out what it is by reading our monthly journal, Independent Healing…your best source for science-based health advice.