Those who are physically active in their 50s and 60s are more likely to avoid chronic diseases and premature death, according to a study out of the Harvard School of Public Health.
Analyzing data from 13,535 female participants in the Nurses’ Health Study, researchers correlated reports of physical activity at the average age of 60 years with successful survival into the 70s. Successful survival was defined as “no history of ten major chronic diseases, or coronary artery bypass graft surgery and no cognitive impairment physical impairment, or mental health limitations.”
The correlation was considered strong enough to provide “evidence that higher levels of midlife physical activity are associated with exceptional health status among women who survive to older ages and corroborate the potential role of physical activity in improving overall health.”
Incorporate mental activity to your workout, adds neurologist Tim Vollmer, Co-Director of the Rocky Mountain MS Center Clinic, and keep your brain healthy along with your body.
Although repetitive actions like running are great for your cardiovascular system, coordinated arm leg movements like you find in yoga, pilates, dance, tennis, or my favorite, Jazzercise, can help keep all synapses firing.
Of course, you don’t need to wait until you hit midlife to get the benefits from regular physical and mental activity. The research shows that the old motto “Use it, or lose it!” has been proven to be true.