It’s impossible to say it enough: exercise is the closest thing we have to a miracle drug. Ironically, sticking with that metaphor, it’s also your best tool for staying away from the medical care industry. When I read studies like this, it makes me realize how fortunate I was that my father, despite his severe mental illness, was able to introduce me in his own limited way to regular exercise. He taught me to swim and play tennis and to love walking. He walked several times daily for as far back as I can remember.

It wasn’t until I took up bodybuilding when I was 17 that my exercise habit really kicked in. And, I have been going strong ever since. I’ll turn 60 in about 7 weeks, meaning I am about to embark on my 43rd consecutive year of a devoted exercise regime. What I do has varied somewhat over the years, but the core elements of lifting with some kind of aerobic activity have never varied.

Now, a typical week for me is 25 miles of walking (spread over six days) + four weekly, strenuous kettlebell or sandbag strength and conditioning sessions, which often include weighted carries, sprints, and pushing a power sled. I love it all. I love the way it makes me feel, the way it allows me to move, and the sheer energy and power it gives me. Give it a try. You have nothing to lose except weight, stress, pessimism, fear, and lethargy.

Daily Mail: Exercising for more than 12 hours a week gives the best protection against common conditions.