SARASOTA, Fla. -- There may be new meaning to saying, “life begins at forty.”
A new study comparing when healthy men between the ages of 55 and 70 first started cardiovascular exercise, and the impact this may have on their health, may have hopeful results for those who began later in life.
What happens to the body as we get older? As we age, our blood vessels and heart muscle becomes stiffer.
But this isn’t necessarily the normal process of aging, says cardiologist Dr. Chippy Nalurri, and now a new study finds benefits for those starting cardiovascular exercise later in life.
When comparing individuals that had a moderate endurance exercise program that started before age thirty with individuals that started this regimen after age forty, it was found that both individuals had similar cardio benefits.
74 year old Suncoast resident Herbert Roessiger says there are great benefits to starting exercise even later in life.
“Oh, most definitely, I started at the age of seventy three last year to do triathlons.” He started another modality at the tender age of fifty nine. “I've been spinning for sixteen years because that's a passion of mine.”
Roessiger swims, runs, cycles, and does kickboxing, weights and whatever comes up, he says.
Diane Adams, wellness coordinator and fitness instructor of the Sarasota YMCA says he is not alone—she sees people exercise at all ages: “Forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, and a few in their nineties.”
She they come in with determination, strength, focus and desire to remain healthy.
“It will improve your overall health; cardio vascular allows you to burn calories, allows you to stand taller, and to live your life to its fullest.”
Dr. Nalluri says it’s never too late—but clear it with your physician. “If you want to exercise after age forty, you want to exercise later in your life, do it.”
Roessiger agrees. “Definitely at any age, doesn’t matter how old you are, if you're eighty, you should start to exercise if haven’t done it.”
As we age, our cardiovascular system undergoes adverse changes. Although exercise can't stop these changes from happening, it may help slow them down.
In addition, another recent study of people 65 and older finds increasing physical activity may reduce the risk of heart attack.