[Via Reuters Health] A Swiss medical study has recently found that having a generally active life, even without regular traditional exercise, was tied to better health and greater longevity for older people.
At the study's outset, people who were more active on a daily basis, regardless of their exercise levels, tended to have smaller waists and healthier cholesterol levels. People who had reported high levels of daily non-exercise activity were less likely to suffer a heart-related event and less likely to die than those who were the least active.
For every 100 people reporting low activity levels who had a heart attack or stroke, for example, only 73 highly active people experienced such events. For every 100 of the least active who died, only 70 of the most active did[.]
Traditional exercise routines only account for a fraction of the entire day, focusing on activities outside of the gym can be just as important for health as a regular fitness routine. Being inactive and participating in long periods of sitting and immobility restricts blood flow and can jeopardize chemical processes within the blood stream such as the movement of nutrients and other important compounds. Being regularly active is particularly important for anyone with diabetes or a history or poor circulation.
Continuously moving around through daily activities such as cleaning, shopping, yard work, and recreation such as walking, swimming, and cycling keeps muscles loose and flexible which becomes more and more important as people begin to approach old age.