Taking up exercise relativly late in life could help older individuals age healthily.
In a new study, scientists recorded the health of more than 3,400 people ages 55 to 71 who were initially free of disease, and checked in with them for a period of eight years. Compared with inactive participants, individuals who exercised at least once per week were three to four times more likely to age without developing depression, dementia or other long-term health conditions.
Participants who became physically active during the study period were three times more likely to age healthily than inactive participants, and individuals who sustained activity throughout the study were seven times as likely to grow older free of debilitating disease, researchers report November 25 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
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