Elderly individuals who participate in sustained physical activity can improve their overall health late in life, according to recently published study results.
Researchers analyzed information on 3,454 healthy men and women (average age, 63.7 years) in the ongoing English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Self-reported physical activity was assessed at baseline through follow-up. Participants who survived without developing major chronic illness, depressive symptoms, physical or cognitive impairment were considered to have healthy aging.
At 8 years follow-up, 19.3% of the participants were defined as healthy aging. Moderate or vigorous activity at least once a week was associated with healthy aging, compared with inactivity, after adjusting for age, sex, smoking, alcohol use, marital status and income.
“Significant health benefits were even seen among participants who became physically active relatively late in life,” the researchers wrote in the study abstract.
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