Survival of the fittest: Exercise trumps age

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London, Jan 23: Leave the bed, wear your tracks and put on your jogging shoes if you want to live longer.

The fittest men tend to live the longest, regardless of age or history of heart disease, a new study shows. According to the research, older men who were classified as ''highly fit'' died at half the rate of those who were not as fit. The work, comprised of about 15,000 U S military veterans being followed for 7.5 years, is one of the largest to show that exercise extends life regardless of age or race.

The researchers also noted the men's age, blood pressure, history of heart attack, Body Mass Index etc.

Performance on the exercise test was the best predictor of mortality, followed by age and heart disease.

Compared to men with a low level of fitness, death rates were 50 per cent lower for highly fit men and 70 per cent lower for men in the ''very fit'' category, Web Md reported.

The study, however, had some limits. The men were not assigned to exercise and not retested as the study progressed. So it is not clear if they became more or less fit as time passed.

The study did not reveal whether the findingd applied to women.

Reams of research, however, show benefits from fitness for both sexes.


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