Data was analyzed for almost 14, 000 nurses who had enrolled in 1985, and who had made it to age 70 or beyond at the 1995-2001 follow-up. Data collected at intake included all types of physical activity and this was graded as to its degree of strenuousness and regularity. A calculation known as 'metabolic equivalent task' or MET, was made for each activity. Surprise! Those women who engaged in more challenging physical activity on a regular basis experienced a reduced level of illness and disability as they aged.
The researchers defined 'successful aging' as being free of 10 chronic disease, no coronary artery bypass surgery, no cognitive impairment, no physical limitations and no mental health limitations. Pretty good. Stay healthy until you die.