Regular exercise is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle. But there is one important caveat: as researchers from the Netherlands have found, the optimal duration and intensity of training for men and women are not the same. And if you are serious about celebrating your 90th birthday with a fun company of great-grandchildren, then sports should be properly planned taking into account such details (“Fitness versus age: how to train at 35, 45 and 55”).
Researchers at the Maastricht University Medical Center have monitored the physical activity of 8,000 men and women over the age of 60 for 22 years. As a result, it was concluded that the more actively men go in for sports, the higher their chances of living up to 90 years. Moreover, if a man trains for an average of 90 minutes daily, his chances increase by 39%.
With women, the situation is somewhat different: exercise is useful for them only if their training lasts no longer than an hour. So, for ladies who lead a fairly active lifestyle and performed a set of sports exercises for 30-60 minutes daily, the chance to live to 90 years increased by 21%, compared with those whose workouts lasted less than 30 minutes. Interestingly, the chances of the most active - spending more than 60 minutes on a daily basis - also declined. Scientists also noted that the maximum effect of training women receive as long as the exercise does not cause them pain ("Strength training for women: myths about huge muscles and the truth about health").
Researchers are still at a loss to name the reasons for such curious gender differences. There is an assumption that factors such as hormones, childbirth, genetic predisposition and lifestyle play an important role. Another interesting point: scientists also found that tall (at least 175 cm tall) and slender women are also more likely to live to 90 years old. However, height and weight do not affect the life expectancy of men.
Another way to live a long and active life, according to Dutch scientists, is to always maintain the same weight that you had at 20 years old (minimal deviations, of course, are acceptable). Interestingly, the pattern also works only for women.
“Life expectancy has increased over the past few decades, but some developed countries are experiencing a plateau. This trend is likely associated with an increase in obesity and lack of sufficient physical activity,”the researchers note.
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