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There has been a lot of fitness and exercise talk in the news lately. Articles ranging from how an active lifestyle helps protect against diabetes and obesity, to using exercise to help quit smoking. Now, there is a new study out that found when comparing fitness and middle age results show a decline in chronic illness.
This study, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, has identified that men and women who are fit and active before, and around, the age of 50 are less susceptible to chronic illness, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease and lung cancer. The continued exercise into later life also allows the middle-aged to keep unwanted body weight off. For middle-aged women this can be especially tricky. Generally, if a woman hasn’t shed unwanted pounds before she battles menopause, it will be more difficult for her to shed the weight afterwards.
However, a common misconception of these findings is that those who are healthy in middle-age are completely immune to chronic disease. This is not the case. The actual implication is that consistent physical activity and a healthy lifestyle habits can buy time before any illness may set in. While many suffer from horrible chronic conditions in mid-life, the theory is those who exercise will not have to handle these illnesses until the late life stage, making their quality of life through middle-age to late-life much better.
While genetics also plays a role in determining overall health, activity has been found to be one of the best things that can be done to keep the body in proper working order. However, the affects of exercise don’t just stop there. Physical activity can help increase brain activity and help prevent early on-set mental diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. In addition to these benefits, exercise also helps keep the body in working order, providing loose joints, strong muscles, and a good daily positivity boost. Now, the decline of chronic illness during aging can also be attributed to smart decisions made regarding fitness and middle age.
Sources: Time Healthland: http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/28/being-fit-in-middle-age-can-lower-risk-of-disease-later-in-life/ Huffington Post - Post 50 (via Reuters): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/27/staying-healthy-reducing-chronic-disease_n_1834764.html MedPage Today: http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/ExerciseFitness/34412