I spoke to reporter Alyssa Shaffer at Livestrong.com about what you need to do to keep in shape.
“If the legendary fountain of youth really existed, it’s a pretty good bet you’d have to bike, swim, walk, surf or stretch to reach it. “There’s an enormous amount of research that shows that the best thing by far you can do to stay healthy and vibrant is to exercise,” notes Patricia Cohen, the author of “In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age.” “Science shows that to whatever degree you can add movement to your life, you’ll benefit significantly.”
That’s something these five vivacious, and successful, women have discovered first hand. A few of them are recent converts to their favorite pastimes; others have been working out or playing sports for decades. But all have found that being active (and eating well) not only keeps them looking beautiful, but – more important – makes them feel happy, energetic, and in love with life. Let them inspire you to get moving….”
The always interesting Gretchen Reynolds points out that while Americans are living longer, they are not necessarily living better. The increase of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease are up thanks largely to overeating and inactivity. (“The Weight of the Nation,” a great documentary series on HBO by a friend of mine John Hoffman offers a fascinating look at our collective weight problem.)
“Those adults who had been the least fit at the time of their middle-age checkup also were the most likely to have developed any of eight serious or chronic conditions early in the aging process. These include heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and colon or lung cancer.”
There is hope, though. A new study shows that even longtime couch potatoes can dramatically improve their health by starting to exercise in middle age.
“Being or becoming fit in middle age, the study found, even if you haven’t previously bothered with exercise, appears to reshape the landscape of aging.”
”…the results show, in essence, that being physically fit “compresses the time” that someone is likely to spend being debilitated during old age, leaving the earlier post-retirement years free of serious illness and, at least potentially, imbued with a finer quality of life.”
Read the whole story here.
As much as we all hate to exercise, it is increasingly clear that it is the only fountain of youth that exists. As reported in Medical Daily:
“It’s not just vigorous exercise and sports that are important. These leisure-time activities represent moderate intensity exercise that is important to health. It is especially important for older people to be physically active because it contributes to successful aging,” said lead author Mark Hamer, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology and public health at University College in London, U.K.