The scientific evidence suggests that those who are middle aged or elderly and physically active should continue to be so. Those who are not should increase their physical activity levels (12).
Stessman et al. (31) found that continuing and indeed commencing physical activity once very old was associated with better survival and function.
King et al. (32) found those in middle age who adopted a healthy lifestyle (five fruit and vegetables, exercise, healthy weight and no smoking) had statistically significant reduction in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all cause mortality.
Similarly, Yates et al. (1) found that smoking abstinence, weight management, blood pressure control and regular exercise were associated with extended lifespan, good health and improved function during older age.
Byberg et al. (33) found that a cohort of 50-year-old men who increased their physical activity levels achieved a similar reduction in mortality to that of men who had always been physically active. It took 10 years, however, for the groups to reach parity. In
addition to the benefits previously mentioned, there is growing evidence that physical activity helps to maintain cognitive performance and decreases the risk of dementia in the elderly (12).
The above is an extract from a paper by Leslie Alford from the University of East Anglia on the impact of regular exercise on our physical and mental health. You can obtained the references by clicking on FULL TEXT.
L. Alford. What men should know about the impact of physical activity on their health. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 2010; 64 (13): 1731