Brisk walk every day adds years to your life
Just 25 minutes of brisk walking a day can add up to seven years to your life, health experts have said.
Research presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress over the weekend shows that regular exercise can reduce ageing and increase the average life expectancy.
Sanjay Sharma, a professor at St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London, said moderate exercise reduces the risk of dying from a heart attack in the average person's 50s and 60s by half.
"This study is very relevant. It suggests that when people exercise regularly they may be able to retard the process of ageing," he said.
"We may never avoid becoming completely old, but we may delay the time we become old. We may look younger when we're 70 and may live into our 90s.
"Exercise buys three to seven additional years of life. It is an anti-depressant, it improves cognitive function and there is now evidence that it may retard the onset of dementia."
Professor Sharma said that everyone should be doing at least 20 to 25 minutes of walking a day, involving brisk walking or slow jogging.
"If you know that something is 20 minutes away, try and walk it if you've got time and not take the bus," he added.
"People with a heart condition shouldn't run, but walk to a point where they can still speak - but they shouldn't be able to sing. Following these simple directions is essential considering our sedentary lifestyles," he added.