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Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2019 Mar;22(2):167-173. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000546.

Which type of exercise keeps you young?

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Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism (CIM)/Centre for Physical Activity Research (CFAS), Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.



Robust epidemiological evidence exists that lifelong regular exercise contributes to longevity. The aim of this review is to discuss recent findings regarding, which dose and type of physical activity promotes a long healthy life, free of disease.


Meeting the currently recommended amounts of leisure time physical aerobic activity of moderate intensity of at least 150 min/week provides most of the longevity benefit. However, a higher duration and intensity augments the beneficial effect on cardiovascular health and metabolism. Performing three to five times the recommended physical activity minimum reaches the maximal longevity benefit, that can be achieved. Although it is not dangerous to perform even higher amounts of exercise, the benefit may decrease. A high maximal oxygen uptake in mid-life is a strong marker of longevity, whereas muscle mass is a critical prognostic factor in aging and cancer.


Exercise training above the public health recommendations provides additional benefits regarding disease protection and longevity. Endurance exercise, including high-intensity training to improve cardiorespiratory fitness promotes longevity and slows down aging. Strength training should be added to slow down loss of muscle mass, associated with aging and disease.

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