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A portrait of confident man outdoors

Older or younger, you already know you should be working out more.

But now, a new study suggests that getting more fit might also reduce the risk of death for elderly men with high blood pressure.

Compared to the least-fit men, those who had the highest levels of fitness had nearly half the risk of death. For men in the low-fitness category, the risk of dying was 18 percent lower. And, men in the moderate-fitness category had a 36 percent lower death risk, according to the study.

A moderate “level of fitness is achievable by most elderly individuals engaging in a brisk walk of 20 to 40 minutes, most days of the week,” lead author Dr. Charles Faselis, a professor of medicine at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., said in a news release from the journal Hypertension.

“For every 100 people who died in the least-fit category, 82 died in the low-fit category, 64 died in the moderate-fit and 52 died from the high-fit category,” senior author Peter Kokkinos, a professor at Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Georgetown University School of Medicine and George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, said in the news release.

“The death rate is cut in half for those in the highest fitness category,” he noted.

The study was published on May 12 online in Hypertension.

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