Aging well has a lot to do with good genes. But getting up off the couch and moving really does play a big part. Here’s more proof in case you need it…
A new study in the U.K. looked at the link between aging and exercise by comparing two groups of people between 55 years old and 80 years old. The first group had exercised most of their adult lives. The second group hadn’t.
And the ones who stayed active still had the muscle mass, body fat, and cholesterol of someone half their age. Plus, the men’s testosterone levels were still high.
But the more surprising part was how strong their immune systems were. It turned out the ones who’d exercised their whole lives still had the immunity you’d expect to see in someone in their 20’s or 30’s. So they were more likely to avoid getting sick.
There’s a gland behind your sternum called the thymus that releases T-cells to help your body fight off illnesses. After about 20, it starts releasing less of them. So your immune system can start to weaken.
But people who stayed active didn’t have a major dip in T-cells. Their body was still releasing just as many as you’d see in a much younger person. And the researchers think that by staying in shape, they basically didn’t give their bodies a chance to age.
In other words, it’s more proof that getting older doesn’t have to make you frail. But the best way to avoid it is by staying active thoughout your life.