Which is the most important for longevity keeping thin or keeping fit? Different studies have shown different results but what they all suggest is that being active will offset some of the effect of excess weight gain. So exercise alone is good but exercise alone will not erase all the negative effects of being overweight. If you are lean and unfit you are more at risk than someone who is fat and fit.
The Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study from the University of South Carolina concluded that it is important to prevent the age associated loss of fitness regardless of Body Mass Index change. As we age we tend to be less active and as a result gain body weight – the study concluded that by maintaining or improving fitness there was a lower risk of mortality. The study was conducted on 14,000 men with a mean age of 44 years and conducted over 11 years.
If you are finding it harder to lose weight as you get older why not focus on getting into the habit of exercise rather than worrying about the importance of weight loss? If you are obese or are completely new to exercise it would be a good idea to check with your GP before starting a new exercise programme. If you have always been physically active it is important to keep up this habit as we get older rather than worry about the midlife spread.