So you spent the first half of your life as a couch potato, and think it's too late for exercise to do any good? Think again. An observational study published online March 8, 2019, by JAMA Network Open links exercise to a lower risk for an early death, even if you wait until middle age to start a regular routine. Researchers analyzed health and exercise surveys from 315,000 older adults in the 1990s, then followed up to see who was still alive in 2011. Compared with people who never exercised, older adults who'd exercised consistently since they were teenagers had a 36% lower risk of dying during the study period. Those numbers were similar to the results for people who'd been inactive in their youth and only began exercising regularly in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. That group had a 35% lower risk of dying, compared with people who never exercised. The findings suggest that it's never too late to start an exercise regimen. Try brisk walking, swimming, or any exercise that gets your heart and lungs pumping.
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