Exercise in Middle Age Lowers Health Risks: September 25, 2012

“I probably walk a couple of miles a day and three days a week I go to the gym,” says Warren Wright, a regular exerciser.

Wright is taking on middle age and getting himself in good shape for old age.

“I just like feeling good when I wake up in the morning, that’s what motivates me,” says Wright.

He may be underestimating the health benefits.

“The people that exercise, especially in their thirties and forties, do have better life in their seventies and eighties,” says Dean Mantion, a trainer with the Lee Center for Rehabilitation & Wellness, part of the Lee Memorial Health System.

It’s no surprise that exercise is good for heart health but researchers looked at years of data and found exercise in middle age can ward off a variety of chronic illnesses.

“The better you perform on a cardiac grade exercise test is linked to less occurrences of eight chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, colon and lung cancer,” says Mantion.

Part of Mantion’s job is to test people’s fitness.

“It’s going to start off easy and it’s going to get progressively harder as we go on,” says Mantion.

A one to two point increase in fitness at age 50 could lead to a 20 percent reduction in chronic diseases at 65 and older.
“You do not have to be marathon runner. The general health benefits can be found in as little as 100 vigorous minutes a week,” says Mantion.

It breaks down to 35 minutes, three times a week.

“It’s not that hard,” says Wright.

A small investment in your future health.