Everyone knows that exercise is good for you. But it’s not just beneficial for the young, healthy and already fit. It’s also one of the best defenses against the toughest aspects of aging.
Exercise not only improves heart and lung health, but research shows that even modest physical activity is good for the brain, bones, muscles and mood. Numerous studies have found that lifelong exercise may keep people healthier for longer; delay the onset of 40 chronic conditions or diseases; stave off cognitive decline; reduce the risk of falls; alleviate depression, stress and anxiety; and may even help people live longer.
“Exercise is the best defense and repair strategy that we have to counter different drivers of aging,” says aging researcher Nathan LeBrasseur, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. It can’t reverse aging, per se, he cautions, but “there’s clear evidence that exercise can activate the machinery necessary for DNA repair.”
Excerpted from Time