Good news for people who exercise, regularly. A review published in the latest issue of the Journal of Aging Research says people who do live longer, by an average of four years. The review also suggests there are types of exercises that could be just as important.
According to a team of researchers led by sports scientist Anne Reimer who collected data from a range of previous studies, all gearing towards the investigation of the relationship between physical activity and life expectancy showed that "physical activity during leisure time seems to increase life expectancy more effectively than total physical activity."
What this means is that people who opted to exercise during their free time appeared to benefit from those required to exercise, for example, for work or for a certain sport if you must. One of the explanation is that people who exercise recreationally are more likely to foster other healthy habits, like eating right and abstaining from vices such as cigarettes.
The researchers also write that "eleven case control studies on life expectancy in former athletes revealed consistently greater life expectancy in aerobic endurance athletes but inconsistent results for other athletes." Which means endurance exercise like running appear to be more beneficial than anaerobic exercise like power lifting.
"In conclusion," write the authors, "while regular physical activity increases life expectancy, it remains unclear if high-intensity sports activities further increase life expectancy."