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Exercise Adds Years, Despite Weight

(CNN) — Getting your heart pumping through exercise can help you live longer, even if you’re overweight, according to a new study. And you don’t have to work out all that much to extend your life.

The researchers analyzed several studies of more than 632,000 adults, 40 and older, who were followed for about 10 years.

Scientists found that walking at a brisk pace for 75 minutes a week added an average of 1.8 years to a person’s life compared to those who did not exercise.

When adults upped their workouts to at least 150 minutes a week, the level recommended by the surgeon general, their life expectancy increased by 3.4 years–and it didn’t matter if you were of healthy weight, overweight or obese.

And it’s not just walking that helps us live longer. Any type of activity from swimming to hiking, from dancing to tennis, as long as you reach a moderate level of intensity. A good rule of thumb is that you are getting a good workout if you can still carry on a conversation, but you aren’t quite able to sing.

Scientists have known for years that being obese can cut our lives short, so it’s good to know that no matter what a person weighs, simply going from sedentary to active may help us live longer.

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