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To increase our chances for a long life, we probably should take at least 7,000 steps a day or play sports such as tennis, cycling, swimming, jogging or badminton for more than 2.5 hours per week, according to two large-scale new studies of the relationship between physical activity and longevity.

Dr. James O'Keefe, director of preventive cardiology at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, was an author on one of the studies that was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings focused on activity levels that would help people live a longer life. This study involved data from the Copenhagen City Heart Study, which asked participants how many hours a week they exercise, including cycling (wildly popular in Copenhagen), tennis, jogging, swimming, handball, weightlifting, badminton and soccer.

“The very active group, people doing 10-plus hours of activity a week, lost about a third of the mortality benefits,” compared with people exercising for 2.6 to 4.5 hours a week, said Dr. O’Keefe.

Read the full article on Today Online: How much exercise do we need to live longer?

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