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Midlife exercise linked to better aging in women


Keep walking, ladies! That's the message of a study appearing in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Harvard researchers studied 13,535 women and found that a higher physical activity level at midlife was associated with better health at 70 and older. From NPR's Shots:

They found that women who regularly walked at a moderate pace had much higher odds of staving off disease and aging successfully than their counterparts who didn't exert themselves beyond leisurely, easy walking.

And there's evidence that picking up the pace -- beyond just moderate intensity -- may be very beneficial. The women who walked at a very brisk clip increased their odds of successful aging by 3-fold.

The work follows Stanford research showing that elderly people (both men and women) who began running in midlife had fewer disabilities and a longer span of active life and were half as likely as aging non-runners to die early deaths. That paper appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2008.

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