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Exercising regularly and keeping a proper diet can fend off diseases and disorders, especially as you age. But, most of us have wondered, “Am I exercising enough?”. A new study from The Westmead Institute for Medical Research may just have the answer.

Decade’s Worth Of Data

The researchers interviewed 1,500 adults over the age of 50. Then, they followed them for an entire decade. Their results, published in the journal Nature, are pretty incredible.

Individuals who participated in about 10 hours of moderately intense exercise each week were seen to survive an extra 10 years without suffering from chronic diseases.

Fitness Freaks Free From Disease

The research indicated that individuals who were “fitness fanatics,” engaging in the highest levels of physical activity, were twice as likely to reduce their risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes compared to individuals who don’t exercise at all.

“Essentially we found that older adults who did the most exercise were twice as likely to be disease-free and fully functional,” Bamini Gopinath, the lead researcher of the study, said. “Our study showed that high levels of physical activity increase the likelihood of surviving an extra 10 years free from chronic diseases, mental impairment, and disability.”

Something Is Better Than Nothing

If you can’t quite keep up with the 10-hour per week pace, don’t let that get you down. While this amount of exercise is recommended to extend your life, any exercise you participate in is better than none.

Less strenuous exercising activities such as walking and yoga can still benefit the body and mind.

“Some older adults may not be able to engage in vigorous activity or high levels of physical activity,” Gopinath said. “But we encourage older adults who are inactive to do some physical activity, and those who currently only engage in moderate exercise to incorporate more vigorous activity where possible.”