Inquiring research minds wanted to know this. So they took couch potato flabby post-menopausal women and put them on 3 months of training that combined cardio and resistance exercises. In just 12 weeks, these sedentary women, 47-68 years of age, mid-lifers who hadn’t ever gone to a gym, had improved arterial health (less stiff), better blood pressure (more normal), and significantly improved muscle strength (healthier and enlarged lean muscle mass).

It only took 3 months for significant health gains, even though these ladies were mildly working out.

Researchers from two groups (Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences, College of Human Sciences, Florida State University, along with the Department of Physical Education, Pusan National University, Korea) said this shows that we can push back what we thought were inevitable signs of aging. This means that simple exercises decreased arterial stiffness and improved muscle strength even in women who have not up till their mid-life been exercisers.

This study provides evidence that combined training may prevent hypertension and supposed inevitable frailty in post-menopausal women.

The great take-home is that it is never, ever too late to push back that Mack truck of time. We can gain a higher quality, longer life no matter how old we are when we start to make changes. (Menopause 2011)