One of the best things that you can do to get the most from life after 60 is to get in great shape.

Even small things, like setting an egg-timer to remind yourself to get up and stretch every hour, can have a big impact on your body. Many people also find pleasure in gardening, strolling in the park or walking a dog.

At the same time, new research is showing that, while any kind of exercise is important, it may not be enough to give us the longevity boost that we want.

Get Sweaty to Live Longer

According to researchers from James Cook University in Australia, getting at least 45 minutes a week of “vigorous” exercise is essential to increasing your chances of living longer. Specifically, in a study of over 200,000 people, they found that those who exercised vigorously – jogged, did aerobics, played tennis or soccer – for more than 45 minutes a week, had a 13% lower mortality rate.

In other words:

If you want to give yourself the best chance of living longer, you’ve got to get sweaty.

Getting Your Heart Rate Up is No Sweat!

Getty sweaty doesn’t have to be a drag. There are plenty of things that you can do to get your heart rate up while having a good time. For example, if you love to dance, why not try Jazzercise? It’s a great way to get your blood pumping – and you may just make some new friends in the process.

If you prefer to exercise alone, why not try listening to audiobooks, while you run or hit the elliptical machine? There are tons of amazing titles at audible.com.

Want something a bit more competitive? Why not take up fencing, boxing or aikido? “Open skill sports,” which involve unpredictable situations, are not only great for your heart, but, they may actually help to keep your brain healthy too.

There are a thousand small ways that you can improve your health after 60. But, for a really big boost, you’ve got to move it, move it! Humans were not meant to be sedentary. Ironically, we need a certain amount of positive stress to thrive. So, why not embrace the power of vigorous exercise? Your body and brain will thank you!

What do you do to get your heart rate up? Do you enjoy competitive sports? Or, are you a fan of aerobics or jazzercise? What are you doing to live longer? Please join the conversation.

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