Body Health Editorial

How a Lifelong Exercise Habit Keeps You Young

How a longline exercise habit keeps you young

There’s a new study out that confirms what we always suspected – staying active keeps you young. The study conducted by researchers at Ball State University and published in the Journal of Applied Physiology follows a group of men and women that started exercising in the '70s during the dawn of the running craze and continued to follow them throughout their lives.

Some of these 1970's exercisers continued to run, swim, cycle or regularly maintain other workouts over the next 50 years. Researchers recently brought them back into the lab and tested their cardiovascular system and muscles vs. the second group of older non-exercisers and a third group of physically active people in their 20's. What they found surprised them. The first older group of exercisers had muscles that resembled the group in their 20's and far better muscles than those of the non-exercising elderly group. There was a difference between the active elderly group and the young group when they compared their amount of aerobic capacity, but the active elderly group far out-paced their inactive peers.

As Gretchen Reynolds writes in the NY Times article, “Regular Exercise May Keep Your Body 30 Years ‘Younger:’

“In fact, when the researchers compared the active older people’s aerobic capacities to those of established data about “normal” capacities at different ages, they calculated that the aged, active group had the cardiovascular health of people 30 years younger than themselves.”

Moral of the story: stay active. Researchers continue to try to understand what “should be” normal measures of health as you age. However, it is clear as the current generation ages very differently than the past – exercise and being active is critical to a long, healthy life.

Read the full story at the NY Times/Well.

  • Becca Matimba/Unsplash

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