Thursday, 11 October 2007

Lifestyle change can happy at any age

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It seems that the older you get, the more difficult it becomes to stick to a healthy lifestyle. The number of commitments to family, friends and work compound over time, making regular trips to the gym and preparing healthy meals seem impossible to pull off. Then, what often happens is that unhealthy behaviors become routine, begetting even more unhealthy behaviors. Before long, these people feel as though they are taken out of the game completely, and that their chances of being fit at their age are pretty much gone.

Not true. Not true at all, actually. Adopting healthier lifestyle changes relatively late in life can still lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and lengthen life, says a report from the American Journal of Medicine.

Researchers looked at more than 1,300 men and women aged 45 to 64 years who took on healthier habits: exercising a minimum of 2.5 hours per week, eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, maintaining a body mass index between 18.5 and 29.9kg/m, and not smoking. Over a four-year span, researchers found that these middle-aged individuals experiences a 35% decreased incidence of cardiovascular events and a 40% reduction in mortality, compared with the men and women of this age group who did not make these healthy changes to their lifestyles.

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