It’s easy to feel like you’ve missed the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of exercise. For older adults, the lean, strong body associated with fitness may not be on their list of goals. That said, the benefits of exercise are vast in range and include much more than an incredible physique.
Improved cognition, heart health, sleep quality, bone density, and quality-of-life are just some of the many exercise benefits older adults should not ignore. Although you may be middle-aged or older, you can still enjoy these enhancements to your health.
Most research into exercise until now has only analyzed the benefits of exercise to a person at one point in their life. The goal of this particular study was to understand how lifelong sedentary persons respond to the addition of activity to their routines after age 40.
Researchers found a 32-35% drop in all-cause mortality when compared to non-exercisers. Heart disease and cancer rates dropped to near that of lifelong exercisers, and those who added the most exercise to their lifestyles enjoyed the most significant benefits.
These findings should not mean waiting until you're older to start exercising. Anyone can benefit immediately from improvements, both mental and physical, made by exercise routines. That said, it’s good to know that it’s not too late for those whose exercise habits may have been previously lacking.
Sources: JAMA Network