Never Too Late To Exercise

September 28, 2019


Never Too Late To Exercise
Senior fitness instructor assisting student during outdoor exercise class

Two studies by JAMA Network Open provide hope for those who start exercising in later life or who are unable to exercise moderately or vigorously.

The first study shows that if you are a middle-aged person and spend most of your time sitting still, it is not too late to exercise to get substantial health benefits. The researchers analyzed data from more than 315,000 participants in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study who filled out a detailed questionnaire on their diet, health and past and present physical activity at the age of 50. Between 71 years old.

Over the next 14 years, those who report moderate to strenuous physical activity from the teens or twenties are more likely to die than those who have been inactive (especially cardiovascular disease and The likelihood of cancer is reduced by about a third. For decades.

But the death rate of those who started physical activity between the ages of 40 and 61 was also reduced by a third. The researchers controlled factors such as age, race, smoking, weight and diet.

Even mild activities can help
According to the second study, low-intensity physical activity, such as slow walking and mild housework, may be sufficient to reduce the risk of heart attack and coronary heart disease death in older women, including approximately 5,800 women aged 63 years and older (mean age) ) 78) At the beginning. The equipment initially worn by the participants measured their physical activity for 4 to 7 days and then followed for an average of 3 and a half years.

After controlling for many factors – including overall health, weight, bodily functions and moderate to intense physical activity – the researchers found that the prevalence of women who performed the least active women (average 6 hours a day) was about three-thirds. One. The number of people who have had a heart attack or died of coronary artery disease (the average is 3 hours a day). The more light activities they perform each day, the greater the benefits of coronary arteries. Previous studies have found similar benefits for older men.

As the authors point out, their findings support the latest “American Sports Activity Guide,” which states that “for individuals who have little or no moderate to severe physical activity, replace them with light-intensity physical activity for a long time. Sitting behavior can reduce the risk for all – leading to mortality, morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease, and the incidence of type 2 diabetes, and suggests that all sports are important in cardiovascular health.

People of all ages can benefit from moving more throughout the day and sitting less.