90% of People Over 65 Are Lazy…

… at least that seems to be the conclusion of a writer at the New York Times.

The actual quote is:

“Exercise among middle-aged and older adults in the Western world is rare. By most estimates, only about 10 percent of people past the age of 65 work out regularly.

So, our expectations about what is normal during aging are based on how growing older affects sedentary people. ” —Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times

That kind of blows my mind. I’ve heard of other studies showing the benefits of exercise both for muscle strength and the immune system claiming similar results.

Take a minute and let that sink in…

Only 10 percent of people past the age of 65 exercise regularly. I should probably exercise more often and more vigorously than just taking my dog for a 30-minute walk each day.

We’ve all heard doctors and other health professionals urge us to eat less and move more if we don’t want to suffer the infirmatives of old age.

That article in the NYT discussed the results of a British study of a group of cyclists between the ages of 55 and 79, who had been cycling for decades and still rode about 400 miles per month (and none of whom were professional athletes).

The study assessed both the physical and cognitive abilities of the group of older cyclists as well as those of a group of sedentary older people and a second group of younger people.

When they compared the results from all three groups, they learned that the cyclists had reflexes, memories, balance and metabolic profiles that “more closely resembled those of 30-year-olds than of the sedentary older group.”

The results of that study were so compelling that the scientists followed up the first study with two more, one that looked at the muscles the cyclists and a second one that looked at their immune systems.

It goes into a lot more detail, but the takeaway for me is the obvious fact that being physically active is one of the most important things we can do for many different aspects of our physical health as well as our cognitive health.

I’m so stiff these days that I might have to start with a restoritive yoga class to stretch these old muscles and joints enough that I can get back into a regular workout at the gym.

I’ve noticed that when I was promoted to a manager possition and given an office, I started slacking off on my workouts and eventually “didn’t have time” for them. After that, the fat started piling on.

What about you?

Do you still get enough exercise?

What knd of exercise is keeping you young and mentally alert?

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