There is no harm in trying something new in life, especially to live longer. And, it is never too late to start doing some exercises regularly to extend lifespan, according to a new study.

The study published in the BMJ last week stated that a person who has celebrated his 40th birthday or an individual who will be turning 80 this year can benefit from regular exercises even if they were never physically active before.

For the research, the scientists observed around 15,000 men and women between the age group of 40 to 79 for 20 years. Then, they divided the participants into three groups depending on their activity levels.

The first group of people failed to meet the minimum physical activity guidelines of World Health Organization (WHO). The second group managed to follow the WHO guidelines as they got involved in moderate intensity workouts of 150 minutes per week. The third group followed WHO recommendations of moderate intensity workouts for 300 minutes per week to get some additional health benefits.

At the beginning of the study, the researchers recorded the physical activity levels of each participant. Then, they recorded it again roughly after 10 years and they continued to observe the participants for 10 more years.

At around 20-year mark, the scientists looked at the number of participants who died. They found that those who had increased their activity levels were more likely to live longer regardless of any factors, including cholesterol, blood pressure, obesity and diet or even their initial activity level.

The study stated that first group of people had higher risk of mortality than the other two groups. The second group of participants had 28 percent lower mortality risk, co-author Soren Brage, who is from the University of Cambridge, said.

“Twenty-eight per cent is what makes public health researchers jump up and down in joy — that's quite a big effect. That's slashing your mortality risk by a quarter,” the researcher added.

Brage also said the participants who managed to increase their activity levels over time benefited the most. “Even if they were completely inactive when they started, if they manage to increase their activity level a little bit they could reap benefits,” he said.

However, the researcher even said that there is no point in waiting until retirement to do some exercise. “First of all you have to at least survive to old age. So you can't just wait until you retire and then ... start doing some exercise. That's generally a bad strategy,” he explained.

Physical activity boasts many physical and mental health benefits. Photo courtesy of Pixabay