Today’s New York Times featured an article on the effects of exercise on “successful aging.”
In short, people who exercise regularly age better.
The live long, suffer from fewer debilitating diseases, and are less prone to depression.
Here’s the quote that really got my attention:
In the eight years between the study’s start and end, the data showed, those respondents who had been and remained physically active aged most successfully, with the lowest incidence of major chronic diseases, memory loss and physical disability. But those people who became active in middle-age after having been sedentary in prior years, about 9 percent of the total, aged almost as successfully. These late-in-life exercisers had about a seven-fold reduction in their risk of becoming ill or infirm after eight years compared with those who became or remained sedentary, even when the researchers took into account smoking, wealth and other factors. (emphasis added)
So if you haven’t been exercising, start.
This is particularly important if you’re a caregiver because you’re probably under a lot of stress.
Start small, make it a habit, and just get moving.