Health Advice



People weren't designed to take it easy when they get older

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

C.S. Lewis, author of "The Chronicles of Narnia," once said, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." And Supreme Court Justice from 1902 to 1932, Oliver Wendell Holmes penned, "Men [and women, we say] do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing."

Evolutionary biologists and biomedical researchers from Harvard University agree. They've published a paper that shows that human beings aren't made to take it easy as they age. You're made to remain physically strong and active! Seems the body is designed so that physical activity later in life shifts your energy toward all the built-in mechanisms that extend good health.

A longer health span -- that's a younger RealAge -- to go along with a longer lifespan is the combo you want to cultivate.

It works like this: In older age, physical activity turns on specific genes that kick out health-compromising elements and activate health-enhancing ones. Exercise also creates micro-tears in muscle fibers, cartilage and bone that signal your positively stimulated biochemistry to kick into repair mode, so that you build back better. And, of course, physical activity also prevents excess fat storage and burns calories. But if you don't do anything to stimulate such improvements, you slide into progressively worse health.

So, start exercising today! Whether you're walking 10,000 steps a day, doing aerobics and strength-building or playing a sport (best -- all the above!), you're helping your body accomplish what it's designed for, to live healthfully with as young a RealAge as possible.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Email your health and wellness questions to Dr. Mike at

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



Strange Brew Hi and Lois Andy Capp Daryl Cagle Dave Whamond For Better or For Worse