In 2019, I wrote a post about an article I read in the New York Times that caught my eye with its summary: “For lifelong heart health, start exercising early in life and keep exercising often. But even if you have neglected to exercise and are now middle-aged, it is not too late.”
The following month, I published the post in my newsletter and I received back quite a bit of e-mail from readers. Here are a few of the notes I received:
A reader who just turned 94, wrote, “I have been exercising for 35 years. Less since I started, but still every weekday.” (In case you haven’t done the math, that means she started when she was 59.)
A reader in her 80s wrote, “I just got back from an hour’s workout in the pool. The instructor has fashioned a spinning class using “noodles”. Challenging, but fun.”
Another reader wrote, “…About eight years ago, I started upping my exercise regimen. I have always been active with cycling, kayaking, skiing, and gardening, but I started working in various exercise routines to fill in. Now, at 67 years old, I feel better than ever. Last fall, I purchased the Apple Nike 4 Watch, and started tracking my exercise habits. Getting the daily rewards and recognition from the apps keeps me on my routine. My routines vary with interval training, light weight training, core exercises, and yoga, coupling with a vigorous one mile walk daily. I have been wondering how far into the future I can keep this up. Your story about your Dad gives me a clue. Thank you.”
The story he refers to about my dad is this:
My dad didn’t start exercising until he was 59 years old. He became an exerciser literally by accident. He had slipped on the ice that winter and badly broke his leg. After surgery to insert pins and plates to repair the leg, he embarked on a long journey of physical therapy. When he finished rehab, he stuck with the exercise habits he had developed. Now, over 27 years later, he continues his exercise routine, and has a health-profile that would be the envy of many people younger than his 86 years.
Have you started exercising? It’s not too late!