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Benefits of physical activity accumulate over time

The benefits of regular exercise are widely known, but results of a new study suggest that they tend to accumulate over time, highlighting the importance of maintaining regular physical activity with age, SeniorJournal.com reports.

The findings come from research conducted by England and Australia over a 53-year period. During that time, scientists analyzed the leisure time physical activity of participants when they were 36, 43 and 53. Those who were active during all three stages proved to perform better on strength tests, and even those who were only active in the latter two performed well.

"We found that there are cumulative benefits of physical activity across adulthood on physical performance in mid-life," lead investigator Rachel Cooper wrote, according to the website. "Increased activity should be promoted early in adulthood to ensure the maintenance of physical performance in later life."

For these findings to most effectively used, there will certainly have to be changes. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 28 to 34 percent of adults between 65 and 74 get the recommended amount of exercise.

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