You are Never to Old to Get Healthy
> 6/29/2007 11:09:17 AM

It is pretty much universally understood that there are benefits to staying healthy. Regular exercise and eating right may take commitment, but come with rewards. For those individuals who have not kept up their health as well as they might have liked, turning things around can often seem a daunting mountain to climb. Add to that the misconception that "the damage has been done," and the result is a situation where many Americans have trouble finding the motivation to get healthy. New research from the Medical University of South Carolina, which will appear in the July edition of the American Journal of Medicine, illustrates just how important and helpful it can be to focus on health even later in life.

Researchers from MUSC found that when test subjects between the ages of 45 and 64 began practicing four specific healthy habits they drastically improved their chances of avoiding cardiovascular disease and they also saw a reduction in their death rate. In a press release, the team explained their results:

There were three key findings from the study - first, the benefit of switching to a healthy lifestyle past age 45 became evident even in the 4-year, short-term follow up; second, the beneficial impact of the changes occurred despite the relatively modest changes in health habits; and third, a healthy lifestyle was beneficial for all persons with three or fewer healthy habits, not just in comparison to people with none or one habit. People adopting only three healthy habits experienced lower mortality but not fewer CVD events over the same period.

The President spoke out recently about his own physical fitness, and how Americans need to prioritize fitness for their own health. This most recent report simply adds more fodder to the argument that a healthy lifestyle can pay dividends, even if you wait till late in life to get started. Similar to the health benefits seen from quitting smoking, MUSC shows here that health benefits begin quickly and can be long-lasting if healthy habits are maintained.

The real take away message here should be that it's never too late to start trying to get healthy. Even for those who have never made fitness a priority, starting now will improve your long-term health. So it's time to stop making excuses and start figuring out how you want to get healthy today.

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