Midlife Fitness May Reduce Chance of Chronic Illness in Old Age

The level of your physical fitness in your 40s will have a very direct impact on your health and quality of life in your 80s says a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study shows that exercise in middle age helps prevent a range of dangerous diseases, including some cancers and other cognitive conditions.

Researchers used participant data from the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study and any linked Medicare claims to determine any association between midlife fitness and the development of nonfatal chronic conditions in older age. The study monitored the fitness levels of men and women older than 65 and enrolled in Medicare. Fitness was measured via a standard treadmill test. The researchers looked at whether the patients developed certain kinds of chronic disease.

“In this cohort of healthy middle-aged adults, fitness was significantly associated with a lower risk of developing chronic disease outcomes during 26 years of follow-up. These findings suggest that higher midlife fitness may be associated with the compression of morbidity in older age.”

It is common knowledge that fit people live longer. This study may show that fit people live better as well.

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