Although the long-term participation in physical activity may be important to lower mortality risk, a recent study in JAMA provides evidence that becoming physically active later in adulthood (40-61 years of age) may convey comparable health benefits.
The cohort study of 315,059 participants found that maintaining physical activity from adolescence into later adulthood was associated with 29% to 36% lower risk of all-cause mortality and that being inactive but increasing physical activity during midlife was associated with 32% to 35% lower risk for mortality.
Good news for those who are aging and beginning to realize the importance of their health while cultivating a desire to live a better quality of life for as long as possible, but may not have had the motivation, time, or know how to integrate meaningful physical activity into their lives. It's not too late.
It may begin with a walk to the mailbox each day, an evening stroll, or an early morning brisk walk. The key is to begin.
Reference: Saint-Maurice PF, Coughlan D, Kelly SP, et al. Association of Leisure-Time Physical Activity Across the Adult Life Course With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(3):e190355. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.0355