We all know that exercising can have a great impact on our bodies and can prove to be really good for health. But what if most people don't start getting active until much later in life? A group of researchers wanted to figure out if there's a difference between people who started exercising from an early age and people who started out later in life. “We don’t know much about long-term participation in exercise,” said one researcher. “How does keeping an active lifestyle, or going down and up again, or remaining at low levels of activity impact health risks?”
The researchers conducted a study on more than 315,000 U.S. adults between the ages of 50 and 71. These people were asked about their leisure-time activity at four different points in their lives starting from when they were 15-18 years, then 19-29 years, 35-39 years and 40-61 years. It was found that people who exercised between two to eight hours per week during each time period had a 29% to 36% lower risk of dying early from any cause. Risk of dying from heart disease was lowered by 42% and the risk of cancer was lowered by 14%.
“It’s good to maintain an active lifestyle at all times regardless of your age,” said one researcher. “But one good thing is that if you have not been active, you can still benefit if you start becoming active in your 40s and 50s, based on our results.” “It’s a great message,” the researcher added, “to know that it’s not too late if you haven’t been on the right exercise trajectory.”