For the last couple of days I've been thinking about the normal excuse that many people have that they just don't have time to work out on a regular basis. Although, I think this excuse is losing momentum, there are still enough people out there who use it to get me to thinking in terms of time commitments to working out vs. longevity. I'm not sure that I'll be able to clearly explain where my brain is coming from on this, but bear with me while I try!
I found a citing that said that men (numbers are just slightly different for women) over 50 who exercise even moderately can add an average of 1.3 years to their life. If we think of this in terms of hours that is 11,376 hours that you have added to your life span by adding some kind of cardiovascular exercising to your day. Even if you deduct 8 hours every day for sleeping over that 474 days (1.3 years) you have still gained 7,584 hours of waking life!
If you exercise 1 hour a day for 5 days a week that is a mere 260 hours of exercise a year. Think about it, you would have to NOT exercise for 29+ YEARS (7,584 hours ÷ 260 hours/year) to make up for the amount of time you would gain in longevity from actually stepping up to the plate and logging those miles on the street, in the gym, or wherever you choose to be physically active. To my mind, it's a pretty staggering thought. (I hope my explanation here makes sense!)
The even better news? Research suggests that if you are more than just moderately active, the numbers jump to 3.7 years of additional lifespan... or in other words, an additional 9,920 hours of waking life! Hmm...