is a multidimensional phenotype and does not merely capture the absence of clinical disease, but also incorporates freedom from physical disability, plus preserved cognitive, affective and social functioning. (Successful Aging)
Being physically active in mid-life is associated with healthy aging. But what if you were sedentary until your 60’s or beyond, does it do any good to get active? What if you were active until your 60’s plus and become inactive?
A recently study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine followed 3454 people over 60 for a period of eight years. Here is what they found:
- Those who were moderately or vigorously active at the beginning of the study and remained active, were 3 to 4 times more likely than inactive people to enjoy the benefits of healthy aging.
- Those who became active during the study were also more likely than inactive people to experience healthy aging.
- Becoming inactive during the study resulted in a decline of the likelihood of healthy aging.
All of these effects held true after controlling for wealth, smoking, alcohol intake and martial status.
Keep in mind that HEALTHY AGING was not just physical fitness but the absence of disease, physical disability, and no decline in cognitive, affective or social abilities. In short, being able to enjoy your golden years.
So, if you are physically active, keep it up. If you are not active, get active, regardless of your age.
A couple of caveats:
One, if you are currently inactive and over 60 check with your doctor if you have concerns about starting to exercise or, you can take the Canadian Home Fitness and Exercise Screening Alternatives.
Two, start out exercising with mild activities and duration and build up as your body adapt.
Three, cross train. Don’t over do it on any one activity. This will lessen the likelihood of injuries due to over use.