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Too old to exercise

Everyone should be physically active – kids, adults, men and women, even those who are pregnant.

Regular exercise helps control your weight, reduce your risk of diseases, strengthen your bones, improve your mood and memory.

SEE ALSO: 5 easy workouts you can do at home

What about those who are in their 40s or 50s living a sedentary lifestyle? Will exercise still provide some benefit even if they start exercising later in life?

Quick answer: It's never too late to become physically active.

And just like always, let’s go through the facts:

  • Changing from being inactive to active—whether occurring in your 40s, 50s, 60s, or even 70s—is beneficial for health (source).

  • Women, average age 66 years old, who went from doing little or nothing to walking just a mile a day slashed their risk of death from all causes and from cancer by nearly half (source).

  • Getting fit in your 40s and 50s could decrease your long-term risk of a stroke by 50%. Even couch potatoes who got in shape were less likely to suffer a stroke over the next three decades than those who had been fit but had stopped working out (source).

  • Study shows that those who made health changes (quit smoking, maintained a healthy diet and start exercising) at a later age, decreased their risk of death in the time period by 80% (source).

And if you do plan on finally becoming more physically active, here are a few recommendations.

  • Make a conscious effort to move whenever possible. Start with a simple goal like taking the stairs instead of the lift.

  • Do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week. Do aerobic activities in bouts of at least 10 minutes. Do muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week. – WHO recommendation

  • Start slow. Don’t overdo your first attempts. Take it easy then gradually increase the time spent in each session. Also, switch up routines.

  • Consider regular aerobic exercise like brisk walking, cycling or take a dance class. Does shopping or cooking count? CDC says that for most people light daily activities doesn’t count. Why? Because your body isn't working hard enough to get your heart rate up.

  • Not a gym person? There are exercises that don’t require any equipment. You can go running or jogging. You can do squats and push-ups. You can do all these at zero cost.

  • Talk to your doctor. Discuss your fitness plans, especially if you’re taking certain medications or are suffering from medical conditions.

So, there you go.

Don’t let age get in your way.

It really does not matter whether you are 40, 50 or 60-years old. Getting physically active will benefit you in so many ways. START TODAY.

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