TIME

Endurance Training Helps Your Heart, Even if You’re Over 40

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Men who exercised regularly after age 40 had similar heart benefits to men who started exercising before they turned 30

You’re never to old to start getting in shape, a new study says.

Researchers in France studied 40 healthy men between ages 55 and 70 who were not at a risk for heart disease. They divided them into groups based on their level of fitness and when they started. Ten of the men had never exercised more than two hours a week throughout their lives, 30 had exercised for a minimum of seven hours a week over the last five years. Some of these man started this exercise regimen before age 30, and some started after age 40. The participants were either running or cycling.

Interestingly, there was not much of a difference between the heart rates of the men who exercised despite age. Heart rates were much higher among the men who did not exercise. The men who exercised regularly also appeared to have better heart function, with high oxygen intake.

The researchers conclude that even though there are biological changes associated with age, even at age 40 the heart appears to benefit from endurance training.

Past evidence has also shown that exercise for people even older than 40 has benefits, like heart disease protection and even better memory.

There really are no excuses.

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