Move more, eat less. It’s the standard health advice for losing weight. But new research shows cutting back on calories – and increasing your physical activity – can also boost your longevity
Researchers with the Buck Institute for Research on Aging said their findings, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, show that cutting back on your calories might help you live longer, but only if you also increase your level of exercise.
Although the research is based on laboratory experiments, it has significant implications for human health and lifespan, said lead researcher Pankaj Kapahi.
"Ours is the first study to suggest that for dietary restriction to enhance lifespan, you need increased fat turnover in the muscle and an associated increase in physical activity,” Kapahi said. “Furthermore, it also suggests that dietary changes may enhance motivation to exercise and help derive maximal benefits of exercise."
Researchers noted many studies have found dietary restrictions can slow age-related diseases and extend the lifespan of many species. But the new study explained why.
Buck Institute researchers found cutting calories and increasing physical activity work together to boost fat metabolism and healthy changes in muscles – both of which are critical for extending lifespan.
But they also found simply restricting dietary intake without increasing exercise is not as beneficial.