Recently someone told me about a Canadian woman who didn’t do any exercise until she was 77. At 93, she was an athletics champion with 30 world records to her name.
Scientists at the University of Illinois, US, were eager to examine her to find out what exercising in late-life could do for her brain – and brains like hers.
And when she expired at 95, her brain was found to be very different from other 90-plus folks. The white matter – the part that transmits messages from one part to another – had much less anomalies. And the part responsible for memory, the hippocampus, was bigger too.
In overall, her brain was much younger than her age.
Why you Should Exercise In Old Age?
It’s never too late to take up exercise to keep you fit and save you from many life style diseases. There are many research studies to support that staying active not only cut down the risk of heart problems, but keeps your brain healthier and younger as well – even if you start in old age.
Another study on 60 to 80-year-olds found that the more active they were, the healthier their patterns of brain activity compared to more sedentary people. The brain activity in this older age group indicated much higher scores in cognitive tests. The astonishing part of the study is that the people in the study were only simply made to walk, do gardening and move more each day and their brains were found “younger”.
One more new study has shown that it’s never too late to start exercising: walking or cycling for just 20 minutes a day can significantly reduce a 60-year-old man’s risk of heart failure by a fifth.
In one very important research, men with an average age of 60 were asked to recall how active they were at the age of 30 and their current activity levels. The good news is that this study concluded being active now has a bigger influence on heart failure risk than activity in the past.
This study also observed that men who were the least active were at almost 50% higher risk of heart failure than the average 60-year-old.
Study leader Andrea Bellavia noted: “We found that recent activity may be more important for heart failure protection than past activity levels.”
Family Fitness Tip: Remember that even people who are keeping fit and healthy (but physically less active) are still at risk of developing heart problems. It’s what you’re doing now that matters.
Conclusion: The above studies have proved that older people gain more from current activity levels than even the prolonged exercise during their past.
So it’s true that it’s never too late to start!!