Harvard Heart Letter

Heart Beat: It's never too late for healthy eating and exercise

Heart Beat

It's never too late for healthy eating and exercise

A reader wrote us asking if it's really worth it for older people to change their eating habits for the better.

Indeed it is. People in their 60s, 70s, and beyond can benefit from improving the way they eat, as detailed in a review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Dr. Richard S. Rivlin, a professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York.

Two insidious effects of aging are the loss of muscle and the weakening of bone. Alone and together, these can restrict mobility, limit the ability to carry out everyday tasks, make breathing difficult by distorting the size and shape of the rib cage, and cause falls. Improving nutrition and getting more exercise can halt or slow the loss of muscle and bone. Other benefits include:

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