Harvard Heart Letter

Exercise: 15 minutes a day ups lifespan by 3 years

Photo: Thinkstock

Invest in a little exercise—every day—for big heart-health benefits.

Exercise: A prescription for making your heart stronger.

As little as 15 minutes of physical activity a day can increase your life span by as much as three years. The benefits increase with each minute of activity you add.

You don't have to be an athlete to make your heart stronger. Engaging in as little as 15 minutes of exercise can benefit your heart, so long as you do it every day. In one study, exercising 15 minutes a day for eight years reduced all-cause mortality by 14% and increased life expectancy by three years. Every additional 15 minutes of exercise a day lowered mortality during the study period by an additional 4%.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »