Does Physical Fitness help You Live Longer?

For the most part Carl is right. You’re going to die (but likely not from a knife attack). But the health and fitness industry seems to scare people into buying products and idea’s that essentially are promising a way to cheat death.

The concept of being ‘fit’ hasn’t really translated into people living much longer. In fact the only lifestyle intervention that has ever been proven to help extend life is simply caloric restriction.

In other words, eat less food.

That’s it.

Eating less food is the only thing you can do that has any scientific suggestion that it can help extend life, or at least help you avoid a premature death.

I’m not suggesting that exercising is a waste of time, but rather to realize what it can and can’t do.

Exercising can make you stronger, or better at a specific movement pattern or event (like running, or lifting or some sort of sport). It’ can also help with bone density, flexibility, stress relief and a host of other positive systemic benefits…BUT we have no proof or indication that it has any effect on longevity (independent of caloric restriction)

In other words, exercise and ‘fitness’ itself isn’t enough to affect your long term health if you don’t also combine it with some degree of calorie restriction or control.