Towards a healthier later life : walk to live

By staying physically fit we can both extend our lifespan and age healthily.Fact. This message is the clear conclusion of an extensive study carried out by researchers at the UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Cooper Institute.

Today, there is such overwhelming medical evidence out there from many of the best research centres in the world that we can greatly improve our chances of living not only much longer, but without many of the chronic diseases that often beset people in their later life. It has been long known that adjusting our lifestyle -even a little- can be good for our health. We are advised to  exercise more; reduce alcohol intake; stop smoking; and maintain a normal weight. We know it’s right. It’s just that we treat these lifestyle changes much like new Year resolutions, and frequently fail to act. What the above study report tells us is that even a little exercise – just 150 minutes a week – can make so much difference to our longevity and our quality of life.Even regular light walking as on a gentle stroll, is good.

It is never too late to improve for the long term our fitness and our lives. Although the Southwestern study reported on the beneficial effect of being physical fit in your 30s,40s,and50s when reaching 65 and over, the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, as reported on the British Medical Journal website,has produced research results which point to a benefit of an extra 6 years in people over 75 who have reduced some or all of the above risk factors causing chronic ill health. Activities seen as particularly beneficial include walking and swimming.



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