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Middle-age power -- seize yours today

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

At age 74, late-bloomer Edwina Brocklesby became the oldest women in the U.K. to complete an Ironman triathlon. "I didn't do any exercise at all until I was 50," says Edwina, who was born in 1943. "One day, I went to see an old friend ... who was running a marathon. I thought that would be fun to do, at least a half marathon, anyway." And so she did!

If you've been sedentary, starting to seriously workout in middle age is a great idea, as Edwina proves. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, it helps protect arterial elasticity (reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack), control blood pressure (ditto) and improve cerebral blood flow (keeps you thinking clearly). And, says the study, folks ages 45 to 64 who log at least 10 years of aerobic exercise during those middle years have heart health comparable to healthy young adults and an extended healthy lifespan.

These benefits may be in part from how exercise makes blood oxygen levels vary. Early studies indicate that variability may lengthen telomeres on the ends of your chromosomes -- and your lifespan. Studies also show that exercise boosts cardiorespiratory fitness (how your heart and lungs pump blood and oxygen) -- and the higher your level of cardiorespiratory fitness the longer your life.

So aim for five-plus days a week of aerobics (60 minutes daily) plus strength-building exercise at least twice a week for 20 minutes. That's power.

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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 question@GreatAgeReboot.com.

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
 

 

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