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Good News About Exercise: It’s Never too Late to Start
Posted By Elizabeth Agnvall On November 26, 2013 @ 4:23 pm In Gray Matters | Comments Disabled
Need inspiration to head out to that Turkey Trot in the frightful weather? A new study finds that regular physical activity  later in life boosts the likelihood of healthy aging up to sevenfold. What’s more, the findings, published yesterday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine , show that it’s never too late to start.
“Significant health benefits were even seen among participants who became physically active  relatively late in life,” wrote the study authors, led by Mark Hamer of the University of London.
Researchers tracked the health of almost 3,500 people, average age 64, for more than eight years. All were participants in the large, long-running English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, which involves a nationally representative sample, born before 1952, of the population of England.
What is healthy aging? It means avoiding major disease and disability but also having good mental health, a sharp memory , a healthy brain  and the ability to keep up with friends and social activities. In other words, the type of old age we all hope to have.
Here’s what the researchers found:
Although a number of large, important studies have also found a link between physical activity and good health , this is one of the first to track whether those who started exercising later in life also reaped health benefits. The British study authors write about a “dose-response association between physical activity and healthy aging.” American translation: The more you get off your butt, the better off you are.
So go ahead and enjoy that turkey with all the fixins’, but take that post-pie walk or even that pre-bird run. Before digging into the the turkey and bourbon chocolate pecan pie , I’ll be running (well, jogging) with 10 friends and relatives and thousands of others in the Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger  to raise money for Washington D.C.’s SOME  (So Others Might Eat). If you’re in town, come join us!
Photo: Derek Parks
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Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org
URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/11/26/good-news-about-exercise-its-never-too-late-to-start/
URLs in this post:
 regular physical activity: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/11/01/to-live-longer-try-gardening-housework-hobbies/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL
 British Journal of Sports Medicine: http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2013/10/28/bjsports-2013-092993
 physically active: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/10/03/rx-for-heart-disease-take-2-walks-and-call-me-in-the-morning/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL
 >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter: http://www.aarp.org/online-community/people/subscribeFromEmail.action?id=19061&intcmp=ILC-EMAIL-SUB-HLTH
 sharp memory: http://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/info-06-2013/memory-is-mine-normal.html?intcmp=AE-BLIL-DOTORG
 healthy brain: http://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-DOTORG
 exercising: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/06/13/the-best-all-around-exercise-for-every-post-50-body/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL
 physical activity and good health: http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-DOTORG
 >> Get discounts on health products and services with your AARP Member Advantages.: http://discounts.aarp.org/savings/discounts/health-andamp;-wellness/uSource/HCTN/categoryId/724/subCategoryId/726?intcmp=AE-BL-HEA-DISC
 bourbon chocolate pecan pie: http://www.southernliving.com/food/holidays-occasions/kentucky-derby-day-party-00400000043969/page5.html
 Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger: http://soome.convio.net/site/TR?fr_id=1150&pg=entry
 SOME: http://www.some.org
 Exercise Boosts Memory in Adults Over 50: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/11/13/exercise-boosts-memory-in-adults-over-50/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL
 Slideshow: 9 Natural Flu-Fighting Foods: http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-09-2013/flu-fighting-foods-photos.html#slide1?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS
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