Andersen Ross / Getty Images A recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that being fit in your forties and fifties can significantly improve the quality of life in your seventies, eighties, and nineties.
Assessing 40 years of data gathered from 18,000 adults, the analysis finds that those who had higher fitness levels in middle age were substantially less likely to have a chronic condition between the ages of 70 and 85. Instead of living with diseases like heart disease, colon cancer and Alzheimer’s for 10 and 20 years, individuals who exercised more frequently during middle age were less likely to develop chronic illnesses until their last five years of life.
Research shows that you don’t have to undertake a strict fitness regime to get results though. Increasing your level of exercise during midlife years by 20%, decreases your chances of developing chronic diseases by 20%.
“Fitter individuals aged well with fewer chronic illnesses to impact their quality of life,” says Benjamin Willis of the Cooper Institute, first author of the study.