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As we age...

Making daily routines more active keeps us fit.

The Impact


When it comes to exercise, it's important to start small.
The CDC recommends starting with low-intensity, low-impact activity and scaling up—not overdoing it,

CDC, 2015

Staying active keeps our wallet in good shape.
Americans spent a staggering $273B in 2013 fighting chronic diseases that could have been prevented with things like exercise.

JAMA, 2016

Exercise is tied to stress reduction and brain health.
Running, in particular, has been shown to protect learning and memory mechanisms in the brain from chronic stress.

Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 2018

The Takeaway

Do what gets you moving.

Advice from Real People

"Whenever I might use an elevator, I take the stairs instead. I do it at work (eight floors up, eight floors down), in malls, and whenever I travel. It’s challenging, but my stamina is way improved.”

"Every day I do a 15-minute cleaning sprint that gets me up and moving. It gives me the satisfaction of accomplishing something, clears my head, and makes me want to be more active afterward.”

"I’ve turned grocery shopping into a stopwatch-fueled race against myself. I see how fast I can get all of my foods under a certain time. It’s surprising how active it can get! Plus, I don’t waste money impulse buying. ”

The Research

Successful centenarian cultures tend to favor exercise that comes naturally.
“ The world’s longest-lived people don’t pump iron, run marathons or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it. They grow gardens and don’t have mechanical conveniences for house and yard work.”

The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, 2008

Sufficient exercise in old age can be attained by making daily chores more rigorous.
“ Muscle-strengthening activities make muscles do more work than they are accustomed to during activities of daily life. This includes lifting weights, working with resistance bands, ... climbing stairs, carrying heavy loads, and heavy gardening.”

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008

Daily low-intensity activity may improve health more than occasional high-intensity workouts.
“ Prolonged sitting over several days amplified fat molecules and abolished the beneficial effect of acute exercise on lowering fat molecules and raising fat breakdown, regardless of energy balance.”

American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2016

How Does Living 100 Change Our Approach to Health?

AARP traveled to six cities across the country to truly understand how Americans feel about the possibility of living longer. We asked about their most hopeful thoughts and largest worries and what they think would make their community an even better place to work, live and play as people are living longer lives. What we heard is that getting older is likely to bring health challenges – but perhaps not as many as we think. We don’t have a crystal ball, but we know the choices we make today can help (and compound) as we age.