Exercise isn’t just something you do when you want to lose a few pounds, says WebMD guest expert, Henry Lodge, MD. It’s the best way to make yourself functionally younger.
Lodge gives two examples of his patients who’ve done just this.
Chris Crowley, co-author of Younger Next Year, came to Lodge at 65, overweight and out of shape. Five years later, after taking Lodge’s advice, Crowley is healthier than 90% of men in their 40s -- and he is 70!
Another patient, Joy Johnson, started exercising later in life. At 80, she won her age division in the New York City Marathon. A year later, she won again and took almost an hour off her previous time.
WebMD Community members agree with Lodge about the perks of exercising. A diabetes educator in the Community points out that exercise improves blood flow to the brain as people age, which improves mood and memory.
A man in his mid-50s asks how he can extend his road biking distance from the 30 miles that he currently bikes. Gains are slower at this age, he’s told. But they do still happen. It’s also important to avoid overtraining and give your muscles time to heal.
Another Community member -- heading into his 80s -- has decided to start running again. He says he's seen “breakthrough progress,” after refusing to listen to friends who say he’s too old.
What about you? Have you seen improvements in your energy and abilities with more exercise?