The elixir of life: How exercise slows down the ageing process

Evidence is widespread that regular exercise, including for older people, is associated with: reduced mortality, greater functional independence, benefits in cognition. Exercise means aerobic exercise and, separately, physical activity to improve strength, flexibility and balance.

Health without exercise is possible and works for many people. But health with exercise is a completely different animal. The body is designed to move, joints to bend, muscles to contract, lungs to breathe more deeply, oxygen to be pumped more vigorously around the body, and the brain functions better when the body is exercising more. So exercise per se is not just an activity to ignore. It is one of a handful of lifestyle operations that separates the good life from a tough life.

There’s a conversation repeated daily throughout many parts of the world: Get some exercise, watch your diet, bring your weight down, and let’s control your blood pressure.