I have been saying for years that we can live younger, and here’s proof. This amazing study examined patient data of 18,670 participants in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. This comprised 250,000 medical records, which were meticulously maintained over a 40-year span. This information was then compared with the patients’ Medicare claims filed from ages 70 to 85.

The researchers’ analyses of the data clearly showed that if you increase your fitness in mid-life by 20%, you decrease your risk of severe illness in your 70s and 80s by 20%. You get less heart disease, colon cancer, even Alzheimer’s disease, in your 70s and 80s if you took a bit more care in your 40s and 50s.

  • The biggest take-home was: what you do in mid-life greatly affects how you experience later life.
  • You can co-create your swath of life.
  • The more fit one was influenced the last 5 years of life, with less disease even then in both men and women.

The more you do aerobic activities, such as walking, jogging, running, and dancing, the more you squeeze the worst possible old age health problems into a smaller and smaller space at the end of your life.

How much does the research say you should move aerobically? The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says adults should get a minimum of 2 ½ hours of moderate to intense aerobic activity each week. This gives the best heart health and overall health benefit and protection. (Archives of Internal Medicine 2012)

This isn’t a lot. Get with the program. Exercise and good eating most of the time (and hormone balancing) should be non-negotiable, like brushing your teeth.