Men who start a regular exercise routine with they are 50 years old may be able to lengthen their life span by more than two years, according to a new study.
Researchers have found exercising may have the same beneficial effect on one's life as quitting smoking in middle age, HealthDay News reports.
Dr. Karl Michaëlsson, the study's lead author, suggested the findings presented more evidence that "it's not too late for a man after the age of 50 years to invest in health and longevity by becoming more physically active."
"Everyone knows that smoking is hazardous for health and increases mortality risk, but it is not generally known that low physical activity has a similar impact on mortality risk as smoking," Michaelsson said.
A total of 2,205 men who began the study when they were 50 years old were examined and surveyed as they hit four ages in their life: 60, 70, 77 and 82.
Each time, the survey questioned their level of physical activity, weight, blood pressure and smoking habits.
Researchers found men who exercised the most when they were 50 lived, on average, 2.3 years longer than men who didn't exercise as much.