Exercise improves your health and increases the chance you live longer. As little as 15 minutes of exercise per week already makes a measurable difference. According to a recent overview1 people who exercised between 15 and 150 minutes per week were 20% less likely to die than those that did not exercise at all.

If you exercise between 150 and 300 minutes per week, that increases to a 31% smaller chance of dying and if you keep adding hours, you could reduce your odds of dying by up to 37%.

Here ‘exercise’ means things like:

  • Walking briskly (at least 3 mph (5 km/h))
  • Bicycling slower than 10 mph (16 km/h)
  • General gardening
  • Vacuuming

which are sometimes called moderate intensity physical activities.

You can cut the times mentioned earlier in half if your type of exercise is more intense, like:

  • Race walking, jogging, or running
  • Hiking uphill
  • Bicycling 10 mph (16 km/h) or faster
  • Heavy gardening (continuous digging or hoeing)
  • Swimming laps
  • Jumping rope


  1. Leisure Time Physical Activity and Mortality: A Detailed Pooled Analysis of the Dose-Response Relationship (commentary at: Fight Aging and The New York Times)
  2. Aerobic and resistance exercise can boost brain power in over 50s, review finds (commentary at: Fight Aging and EurekAlert)
  3. Inflammation and exercise: Inhibition of monocytic intracellular TNF production by acute exercise via β2-adrenergic activation (commentary at Fight Aging and UC San Diego)