1. Lift Weights
Scientists once believed that nothing could be done about the withering of muscles associated with aging. Then, in 1990, a study was published by the August Krogh Institute in Denmark that indicated there was one group of aging athletes who maintained the strength of men half their age: weight lifters.
Studies from Tufts University in Boston, Mass., confirmed that muscle and bone loss could be stopped and even reversed through weight training. After lifting weights twice a week for a year, a group of postmenopausal women in their 50s and 60s made gains in bone density, and their scores on strength tests soared to levels more typical of women in their late 30s.
2. Go For a Walk
Even if you’re 50 and have never taken part in a physical activity, a brisk half-hour walk three times a week can “basically reverse your physiological age by about ten years,” says Gareth Jones, director of the Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging in London, Ont.
His source? A three-year study of 220 retirement-age men in which half didn’t exercise and the other half walked briskly for 30 minutes three times a week. After a year, the exercise group showed a 12 percent increase in aerobic power and a ten percent increase in strength and hip flexibility, equivalent to what they would have lost over a decade had they not exercised at all.
3. Take A Good Look Around Your Neighbourhood
David Berrigan, a cancer-prevention specialist at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, has discovered that people who live in houses that are at least 27 years old are about 50 percent more likely than people who live in newer houses to walk over 1.5 kilometres some 20 times a month.
The reason? Older houses tend to be located in older neighbourhoods that incorporate a mix of homes, workplaces and shops, as well as denser, more-interconnected networks of streets. “That means people walk places,”he says. In many newer neighbourhoods, destinations are simply too far away, so they hop in the car.