Amp up your fitness
If there’s one step you should take for improving your health steering clear of chronic disease, it’s exercise, experts say. It really is never too late to start.
“I have known patients who have started exercising in their 70s and reaped great benefits from it,” said geriatrician Carmel B. Dyer, who is director of the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.
Exercise helps control body weight, lower your blood pressure and strengthen your muscles, which helps you avoid injuries by making you less likely to fall.
And an increase in muscle mass helps your body metabolize drugs more like a young person does, Dyer said, which means medicines can be cleared from the body more effectively.
Physical activity has also been linked to a decreased risk of dementia, she said.
Older adults need not join a gym or suffer through rigorous workouts. Milder activities such as walking, gardening or anything to keep moving would be sufficient, CDC’s Moore said.