A US study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine attracted widespread coverage today. Whilst my Fitbit congratulates me for exceeding 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, it seems that this accolade now comes with the ringing endorsement that coupling 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous physical exercise with muscle strengthening potentially extends life.
That's good, as three times a week I combine a strength class with Zumba or HIIT, with swimmming and additional Pilates sessions thrown in for good measure. 150 minutes? Far, far more but then I am making up for lost time spent in an office or lounging on a sofa.
Obviously I'd like to think that muscular and aerobic activity could be a prominent feature of the whole of my retirement but I'm not entirely convinced by the prospect of continuing this routine into my eighties or beyond. Endorphins or not, the idea of moving from zimmer frame to press-ups is strangely fascinating. A definite challenge if anyone wants one. Moreover and if it really works, can it extend life indefinitely?
I prefer to think that the exercise I do now, is an investment for the future; increasing core strength and balance and enabling a healthier, fitter lifestyle in my advancing years. Whether it also results in an extension to my mortality, will I ever be in a position to know?