Fitness Extends Longevity in Older Adults

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Fitness Predicts Longevity in Older Adults
Fitness Predicts Longevity in Older Adults

Mature adults that are physically healthy at age 60 and older, tend to live longer, regardless of their body fat content, according to the latest research.

fitness-1730325_640Even though earlier research had indicated poor physical fitness and obesity can raise the reduce your chance of longevity in middle-aged older adults, it was uncertain whether this was still accurate today. A new report from Xuemei Sui of the University of South Carolina analyzed correlations between physical fitness, fat content, and mortality in older adults. Researchers conducted a study of 2,600 adults age 60 or older, who took part in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, supported by NIH’s National Institute on Aging and National Heart, lungs and Blood Institute.

Participants walked on the treadmill machine to check their physical fitness levels.

treadmillThe study measured their waist circumference, percentage body fat, and body mass index. The outcomes were documented on December 5, 2007, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. During an average follow-up period of 12 years, 450 of the individuals died. They had a lower degree of fitness and were usually old with cardiovascular risk factors, like diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure levels, than the survivors. The percentage of body fat didn’t seem to be related to their longevity.

Lower Body Mass Index

scale2Nevertheless, lower your BMI, improving your fitness level and reducing waist circumference may increase longevity. The participants were divided into 5 groups based on their physical fitness levels. The group with the lowest level of fitness had a death rate 4 times greater than the healthiest. The middle groups were 2 times more likely to die than the fittest group.

Generally, mortality rates for all those with greater physical fitness levels were less than half of the lower fit individuals. The scientists say their findings indicate that you do not need to be skinny to gain from regular physical exercise. Routine activity, like brisk daily walking for a minimum of half an hour, helps prolong their lives.

A key to healthful aging has been physically active, no matter your weight. So, keep it up, or get started.

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