A government study showed broad health benefits for older Americans who engaged in regular physical activity. BUT, If you are under the age of 50 please don’t discount the information in this study. If you aren’t active physically right now, there is a good chance that your real age is markedly higher than your chronological age and your condition is closer than you think to senior life.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that regular physical activity has beneficial effects on most (if not all) organ systems, and consequently it prevents a broad range of health problems and diseases.
Physical activity in older persons produces three types of health benefits:
1. It can reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease.
2. It can aid in the management of active problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, or high cholesterol.
3. It can improve the ability to function and stay independent in the face of active problems like lung disease or arthritis.
Although the benefits of physical activity increase with more frequent or more intense activity, substantial benefits are evident even for those who report only moderate levels of activity—i.e. washing a car for 60 minutes, raking leaves for 30 minutes, or brisk walking or swimming for 20 minutes. All of the benefits of physical activity are especially important for older men and women since they are more likely to develop chronic diseases and are more likely to have conditions such as arthritis that can affect their physical function.
Science shows that physical activity can reduce your risk of dying early from the leading causes of death, like heart disease and some cancers. This is remarkable in two ways:
- Only a few lifestyle choices have as large an impact on your health as physical activity. People who are physically active for about 7 hours a week have a 40 percent lower risk of dying early than those who are active for less than 30 minutes a week.
- You don’t have to do high amounts of activity or vigorous-intensity activity to reduce your risk of premature death. You can put yourself at lower risk of dying early by doing at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.
Finally, to read further on exercise benefits, please check out my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and exercise benefits).