Researchers and healthcare providers have long long been preaching the positive health benefits of physical activity. Recently, overwhelming research has supported the benefits of being physically active even later in life. Researchers have found that exercising regularly reduces the risk of death, even when started in middle age (age 40-61). They found that leisure time physical activity (LTPA) is associated with reduced risk for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular-related mortality, and cancer mortality.
They found that 2-7 hours per week of LTPA is associated with several health benefits consisted of reduced risk of all-cause mortality (29-36%), reduced risk for CVD-related mortality (32-43%), and reduced risk for cancer mortality (14-16%). Further, they found that these results were similar to those who maintained high LTPA from adolescence.
Further research has found the association between physical activity in older adults and decreased risk of chronic disease and death. Older women (age 63 and older) who engage in light physical activity (LPA) may have a lower risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Light physical activity includes activities such as gardening and folding clothes. Those with the highest LPA saw a 42% reduction in coronary death and 22% reduction in CVD events.
These results demonstrate that it is never too late for adults to become active. The research supports that there are substantial benefits that can still be gained by improving physical activity habits later in life. The Healthy Lifestyle Center can help by providing healthy lifestyle consultations specific to exercise and goal setting. Additionally, we can assist in providing support for adhering to a physical activity habits and decreasing the risk of mortality.
By Matt Lewandowski
Sources: Even Later-Life Exercise Reduces Mortality. Janis C. Kelly – Medscape – March 8, 2019.; Saint-Maurice, P., Coughlan, D., & Kelly, S., et al. (2019). Association of leisure-time physical activity across the adult life course with all-cause and cause-specific mortality. JAMA Network Open, 2(3).; Light Activity Lowers CVD Risk in Older Women. Nora MacReady – Medscape – March 19, 2019. Photo by sk on Unsplash