The Secret to Staying Young

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Taking regular exercise helps you to stay physically healthier and mentally sharper into old age, four studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed on Monday.

One of the studies found that women who exercised more during middle age – defined as an average age of 60 by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School – were less likely after 70 to develop chronic diseases, heart problems or any physical, cognitive or mental impairments.

Another study found that a year of resistance training, once or twice a week, improved older women’s attention spans and conflict resolution skills.

A third found that adults aged 55 and older who engaged in moderate or high physical activity were less likely to become cognitively impaired than their couch-potato equivalents.

And women aged 65 or older who took part in an exercise program for 18 months appeared to have denser bones and a reduced risk of falls than women the same age who followed a less intense “wellness” program, a fourth study showed.

The findings of the studies, which were conducted in Canada, Germany and the United States, could be just what the doctor ordered to get more Americans to exercise, the authors of the first study said.

“Since the American population is aging rapidly and nearly a quarter of Americans do not engage in any leisure-time activity, our findings appear to support federal guidelines regarding physical activity to promote health among older people and further emphasise the potential of activity to enhance overall health and well-being with aging,” the authors of that study said.

“The notion that physical activity can promote successful survival rather than simply extend the lifespan may provide particularly strong motivation for initiating activity,” they said.

Source: AFP

I love how they defined middle aged as 60 – means I’m still in my middle youth!

What do you do to stay young? What kind of exercise gets you going?

 

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11 Comments

  • That is all good to hear! And I must be in late youth..lol. I haven't really exercised much in the last 18 months – my mojo has been lost. But I was a regular gym member working out with weights and doing cardio. And I believe it really does make a difference. I'm almost 52 yet look much younger as I still have a "youthful" figure shape. Now I must get back on my bike (so to speak) so that I also reap the benefits of exercise in my middle and old age.

  • I walk dogs briskly for 30 minutes per day, and try to do some stretches when I remember. But my favorite form of exercise is dance, specifically folk dance. I really need to make time to get back into it!

  • My exercise is working about 2 hours at the stable 5 days a week. It includes lifting, walking, stretching.. I used to take long walks with my dogs, too long, which caused stress fractures on both of my feet. Today I´m able to do everyday walking, but no long walks anymore. Sigh, because I really liked walking. Due to my daughter´s depression, my riding has decreased too. I´m working on this issue. The cold, slippery winter doesn´t increase my lust for this activity either.

  • My favourite forms of physical activity are dancing and yoga. I try to get some of each every week, doesn't usually happen … I also walk to work some days (half an hour).

  • My beef is that health clubs/gyms do not offer enough classes geared to aging bodies. They still provide aggressive step and high impact aerobics. Mostly led my young 20's jocks impervious to the condition of people they're leading.

  • Great information! We American's are FAR too fat. 68% of us qualify as obese and that's probably a conservative estimate. It's frightening. My fave forms of exercise are dance and tennis. The tennis has suffered greatly since having these twins, but I know full time baby-mode passes all too quickly so I'm enjoying this phase. When the twins were born we bought a nice treadmill and good set of free weights and they have been life altering. We knew it would be next to impossible to get out of the house and we didn't want to pay for a gym membership that would sit dormant. Having the tools at our fingertips has been the best move for our health we ever made.

  • I'm with Deja — dancing is fantastic exercise and we have a lot of options locally: folk, contra, squares, salsa, tango, ballroom, the list goes on and on. There's a place about an hour from me where during the summer, I could dance every single night of the week – and most would be with live music! The other thing dancing does is gives the DH and I a good reason to get dressed up (other than work) and go out together for some fun.

  • One secret, probably the most important for staying young, is keeping contact with your friends and spending time with the younger generation; showing an open mind for the fact that the world is changing, and that you are left alone, if you won´t show interest in modern technology. I have two friends, about my age. One of them refuses to use the cellphone and the internet. The other one only doesn´t use the latter. I have spoken about this with them, without any success. Well, they decide and I lift my hands up.

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