Older people exercising

It’s a very common notion that we get weaker as we get older.

You don’t expect your 60 or 70-year old parent to lift heavy objects or run a marathon, right?

We think it’s normal for our grandparents to be taking plenty of medications for all sorts of diseases. “They’re no longer healthy because they’re very old,” we say.

But is it really impossible to be strong and free from illnesses as we reach old age?

SEE ALSO: Are you too old to start regular exercise?

Well, not really.

Although aging is inevitable, we can slow down its effects through a lifetime of, you guessed it right, exercise.

We already know that depression, diabetes and heart aging can be prevented with consistent physical activity.

On top of that, a new study showed that people who spend their lifetime exercising does not lose muscle mass nor strength compared to those who don’t exercise regularly.

The University of Birmingham and King’s College London’s study was participated by125 amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79 years old. Their batch was compared to another group consisted of 75 healthy people aged 57 to 80 and 55 healthy young adults aged 20 to 36.

How did the cyclists fare in the research?

The cyclists’ immune system is stronger and seem to have not aged, and their bodies were producing as many immune cells as those of a young person. Also, they did not increase their body fat or cholesterol levels with age as compared to the other groups.

"Hippocrates in 400 BC said that exercise is man's best medicine, but his message has been lost over time and we are an increasingly sedentary society,” said Professor Janet Lord, Director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham.

"Our research means we now have strong evidence that encouraging people to commit to regular exercise throughout their lives is a viable solution to the problem that we are living longer but not healthier."

Read the study.

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