You are Never to Old to Get Healthy
> 5/21/2008 5:12:00 PM


It is pretty much universally understood that there are benefits to staying healthy. Regular exercise and eating right may take commitment, but both 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. Researchers have provided that motivation by consistently finding that health programs yield benefits even when they are launched later in life.

One clear study about later life benefits appeared in the July 2007 edition of the American Journal of Medicine. Researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina 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. The four habits were: “eating at least five fruits and vegetables daily, exercising at least 2.5 hours per week, maintaining their Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 30 kg/m, and not smoking.” The health benefits from these habits were evident even in the early 4-year follow up.

The issue is important enough that President George W. Bush spoke out about his own physical fitness, and how Americans need to prioritize fitness for their own health. 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, healthy living’s 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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