Strength training, endurance activity, yoga, or even a specific sport. What type of activity everyone should incorporate into their routine to improve longevity? What are the best exercises to live longer? That is what Jonathan Bennion decided to find out.
Jonathan Bennion is the co-founder, director of education and anatomist of the Institute of Human Anatomy. Besides being an education campus at Utah University, the YouTube channel has a massive following of more than 4 million subscribers.
Bennion studies human cadavers to exemplify ways to improve people’s life. In a video, he discussed the best exercises to live longer. Check it out.
Best Exercises to Live Longer
According to Bennion, the best exercises to live longer are the ones that work your heart to maximum or close to maximum capacity. That is because how efficiently and effectively you get into your muscles is a huge influence on the fitness of a person and, subsequently, longevity.
Now, increasing the strength of the heart and improving the amount of blood that it can pump can technically occur with almost any form of exercise. As an analogy to understand the best exercises to live longer, Bennion says that even though walking every day would strengthen your heart, you would only be challenging around 60% of your heart, but you can improve longevity by working 90 or even 100 per cent of your heart, just like if you want to build more muscle, you should work close to the capacity of that muscle and not simply lift light weights.
The best exercises to live longer are the ones that increase the intensity and capacity of your heart. Bennion says the best exercises to live longer are high-intensity intervals or HIIT.
These types of exercises are incredibly demanding that last between 2-6 minutes at full force.
The best part is that is not a specific exercise that is one of the best exercises to live longer, but rather make that exercise a HIIT. It can be on a treadmill, cycling, rowing, running up a hill, or swimming. Just make sure you are going as fast or hard as you can for a short amount of time – in Bennion’s opinion, 2 minutes is the minimum he recommends.
Whatever exercise you choose, take the same amount of time to rest. For example, if you did hill sprints for 2 minutes, take 2 minutes of rest before you repeat the exercise again. You don’t necessarily need to be faster on each round you do, but you make sure you have nothing left on the tank at the end of that period. Do between 4-6 rounds of that HIIT exercise.
“The goal here is to get to max heart rate or close to touching max heart rate,” Bennion says. The max heart rate is, in simple mathematics, 220 minus your age.
Ideally, you should do this type of training once a week, perhaps twice a week, but no need to do more than that if you are looking to improve your longevity.
Bennion goes on to explain how much the heart changes when you do HIIT exercises often for a long period of time.
And those are the best exercises to live longer according to Bennion. If you are interested in his full explanation and further arguments on other ways to improve your VO2 max such as steady-state cardio, click on the video below.