Here you get the simple answer. Nancy Chute at NPR explains.
Researchers in Sweden measured the health of almost 4,000 60-year-olds in the late 1990s. A dozen years later, they checked back in. The people who had been active but not “exercising” at age 60 had a 27 percent lower risk of heart attack and stroke over that time, and a 30 percent lower risk of death.
The most active people also had trimmer waists, and better HDL cholesterol, triglyceridesand blood glucose levels, considered risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.
That’s compared to people who are sedentary, which tends to become more common as people age.
What kind of activity does it take to get those kind of numbers? Things like mowing the lawn, housework, fix-it projects, gardening, bicycling, and, for a nice Scandinavian touch, “gathering mushrooms or berries.”