Exercise Makes Men Live Longer

New research from Harvard suggests that working out may increase longevity in men.

You're welcome ladies. Photo via Shutterstock.

Photo via Shutterstock.

We all know that exercise is good for you, but new research from Harvard says that exercise can actually make men live longer. Following a heart attack, an exercise-based rehabilitation program can reduce the likelihood of dying from heart disease by one-third. According to Harvard Health Publications, here’s why:

Exercise makes your heart healthier:  Regular physical activity raises healthy HDL cholesterol levels and reduces unhealthy LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It also lowers blood pressure, burns body fat, and lowers blood sugar levels — all of which benefit heart health.

Exercise keeps your brain sharp:  Exercise helps keep blood vessels throughout the body healthy and helps reduce the risk of stroke. Several studies suggest that exercise might also help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Exercise controls blood sugar levels: Regular physical activity not only helps you maintain a healthy weight, but also boosts sensitivity to insulin which reduces blood sugar levels. This can help people with diabetes better control their disease. One study found that only two-and-a-half hours of brisk walking a week can cut the risk of diabetes by 30 percent.

Exercise lowers cancer risk: Regular exercise may reduce the risk of certain cancers. One review found consistent evidence that regular physical activity reduced risk for colon cancer by about 24 percent in men. Other research suggests that regular exercise may reduce risk of lung cancer by about 20 percent. There is currently no proof that exercise lowers the risk of developing prostate cancer, but there has been research that suggests physical activity can reduce the chances that it will spread once diagnosed.

Exercise helps your bones: Like women, men can also develop thinning bones with age. According to Harvard Health Publications weight-bearing exercise can help slow bone loss. Putting weight on your bones by walking, playing sports, or lifting weights, can stimulate the growth of new bone. Exercise also helps keep joint cartilage healthy and may limit and even reverse knee problems by helping to control weight.