Fit at 50 !

I was inspired to write this post by a slew of recent studies showing that midlife fitness (midlife roughly defined as 40-65) makes a big difference to health outcomes and cognitive function for the rest of your life. I’ve certainly experienced this personally – increasing my fitness at 40 helped normalize my blood pressure levels. And I’m probably fitter today than I was in my 20s (talk about wasted youth!).

Here’s a short list of recent studies showing the connection between fitness, age and health issues / benefits. (Fitness, as I’ve explained earlier, is the ability of your body to supply fuel to muscle when you are active):

1/ Fitness measured for 45-62 year olds predicts chances of 10-year survival. (John Hopkins Study)

2/ Higher fitness delays age-associated increase in blood pressure. (USC Study) (Henry Ford Study)

3/ Fit older adults (55-82) did as well as younger adults on cognitive function. Unfit older adults did poorly. (Boston University Medical Center Study)

4/ Higher midlife fitness prevents the brain from shrinking (Boston University School of Medicine Study)

5/ Higher midlife fitness associated with lower risk of certain cancers in men (University of Vermont Study)

The interesting thing about these studies is that you don’t have to be a super-athlete at 50 to stay healthy – the level of fitness expected – 12-13 METs is well within the reach of the average 50-year old male as you’ll see from the charts below.


(Many of these studies have been conducted amongst male cohorts so difficult to be as precise for women — I’m hoping to see more studies on female fitness & health impact in the future).

The other interesting question that it raises – if you can stay as fit as the average 30-year old (which is an achievable goal for most 50-year olds) can you entirely avoid aging related health issues ?

Disclaimer: The content on this blog (and linked websites) is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or linked websites. Reliance on any information provided on this blog is solely at your own risk.

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