Taking up exercise later in life tied to healthy aging

Bloomberg News reports that it’s never too late to start exercising to improve your health, even if you’re about to retire.
According to study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, older people “who took up exercise over a four-year period were more than three times as likely to be healthy agers as those who did nothing.”

Compared to those who remained sedentary, “active adults who continued to exercise during that time were seven times as likely to be healthy agers as those who” did not exercise.

Researchers arrived at these conclusions after studying data on 3,454 people whose average age was 64.

Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for premature death — after smoking, excessive drinking and obesity — causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally, according to the World Health Organization.

“This study supports public health initiatives designed to engage older adults in physical activity, even those who are of advanced age,” the researchers, led by Mark Hamer at University College London, said in the published paper.

Healthy aging was measured through absence of major disease and disability, mental health, cognitive abilities and ability to maintain social connections.

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