Highlights

  • Physical activity helps keep your muscles strong and joints flexible
  • As they get older, people start becoming less active and more restful
  • Study says humans have evolved to be more active in old age as well

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Don’t use old age as an excuse to reduce physical activity. Here’s why

Physical activity reduces your risk of many diseases but as you get older, there is a tendency to reduce activity in favour of more rest.

Physical activity is essential for keeping muscles strong and joints flexible. It also reduces your risk of many diseases but as you get older, there is a tendency to reduce activity in favour of more rest.

A new study says this common progression is a recipe for disaster. Evolutionary biologists from Harvard discovered in a study that physical activity later in life shifted energy away from processes that compromised health and toward mechanisms in the body that extended it.

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The team says humans have evolved to remain physically active as they grow older and this helps slow down the gradual deterioration of the body.

Published in the PNAS journal, the study found that repair processes activated as a response to exercise have been shown to lower the risk of diabetes, obesity, cancer, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, and depression.

The key takeaway here is that our bodies need physical activity to age well.

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