People think that your 40s and 50s are a time after your peak when your body starts to show signs of wear and tear. You see, by the time we’ve reached that milestone in our lives, we may not feel we have the energy or stamina to keep up with the younger crowd.
By all accounts, however, somebody who keeps up their fitness routine, eats well, and doesn’t smoke can maintain a healthy body and mind throughout their lives.
In fact, researchers are starting to realize that it’s not the number that tells us how old we are, but something else entirely. According to Time, “the concept of biological age, as opposed to chronological age, is gaining traction.”
In other words, it’s the way our bodies function, not the age itself, that determines how healthy we are. And the choices we make often affect how our body responds to this aging.
One of the best, and most beneficial, choices we can make is sticking to a daily workout schedule.
That doesn’t mean going to the gym for an hour as that becomes increasingly harder to do over the years. It means adjusting to a schedule that fits your needs and accommodates your changing lifestyle.
So here are just a few of the benefits that exercise provides during your 40s and 50s.
The 3 Benefits of Exercise for Middle-Aged Men
1. Better Living Later
A remarkable study began in 1970 by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Cooper Institute in Dallas, comparing the health of subjects in midlife to their health records from 1999-2009.
What they discovered was that subjects who were considered the least fit in middle age suffered from serious or chronic diseases earlier in life than those deemed the fittest.
While this may seem daunting to those that are already healthy, the fact is that if you continue your routine throughout your life, you have a greater chance of living longer without the pain and stress of chronic illnesses.
Keeping up the exercise now serves as a preventive measure, helping you maintain your lifestyle for a very long time. It means doing the things you want to do longer; and who doesn’t want that?
2. Decreased Mortality Rate
If you’ve never been one for exercise, that doesn’t mean you can’t start later in life and still reap the benefits.
Harvard Health Publishing references a study that asked American men and women between the ages of 45 and 64 if they possessed these four important health traits and habits: consumed five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables, didn’t smoke, weren’t obese, and maintained regular exercise.
Out of the 15,708 people studied, only 1,344 possessed all four.
Fortunately, the study followed the subjects six years later and found that another 970 now possessed all four traits, increasing the amount to over 2000.
So what did this mean for their health? A 40% lowered death rate than the subjects who did not change their lifestyle.
So, not only can you live longer without disease, you can live longer, period.
It’s studies like this that continue to support the age-old adage — the sooner, the better.
3. Stronger Heart
Our heart is the vessel that pumps blood through our body, but we see our heart as so much more than that.
It’s a life-giving, love-bringing, warm-feeling organ that we associate with all the best aspects of ourselves and others. When we care about someone, we heart them.
You see, caring for yourself is caring about your heart.
A study done by Dietrich Rothenbacher of the University of Heidelberg compared the differences of a group of 312 patients, ages 40-68, who suffered from coronary heart disease against 479 volunteers identical in age and sex.
The subjects who described themselves as being active throughout life saw a 60% decreased chance of getting heart disease while participants who said they started becoming active after age 40 saw a 55% decrease.
And if you think you have to start running to get results like this, just getting up and walking can have amazing benefits for your heart.
So treat your heart to a little bit of exercise. It’ll thank you for it.
It’s Never Too Late
By altering our exercise routine, even just slightly, it can have powerful repercussions down the line for our quality of life, longevity, and even just our heart.
And for additional help, Beachbody offers tips, reviews, and recipes that will have you feeling better than ever. It doesn’t take much to make a difference for your health.
So get up, get moving, and get living!