There are a few things we can be confident about, but this is one of them: Movement of any kind, whichever feels best for your body, is essential for living a longer, healthier life. This subject has been the subject of numerous studies. Recently, a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences discovered that people have adapted to stay constantly active in their later years and that maintaining physical exercise has aided humans in evolving to live longer better lifestyles.
“The proximate mechanisms by which physical activity (PA) slows senescence and decreases morbidity and mortality have been extensively documented. However, we lack an ultimate, evolutionary explanation for why lifelong PA, particularly during middle and older age, promotes health. As the growing worldwide epidemic of physical inactivity accelerates the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases among aging populations, integrating evolutionary and biomedical perspectives can foster new insights into how and why lifelong PA helps preserve health and extend lifespans,” reads the study.
So, what does that really suggest for all of us who are getting older and want to integrate more activity into our lives? Find an activity that you enjoy doing and stick to it. The CDC advises that seniors exercise for 150 minutes per week, or 30 minutes per day. To check this option, consider walking, biking, running, or even swimming laps in the pool—really, whatever feels good to you and provides you joy. Strength training should be done two or more times per week to maintain muscular mass. Stretching and doing yoga on a regular basis can also help with stiffness, which makes mobility more difficult as you get older.
Consult your doctor to ensure that the type and intensity of your exercise are acceptable for your medical and wellness needs. And if consistent physical activity isn’t already a component of your everyday routine, there’s no better time than now to get started.