73-year-old woman scaling Everest proves you can age well

USA Today—May 28, 2012

Pitcher Jamie Moyer of the Colorado Rockies, 49, is still dominating batters; he recently became the oldest pitcher to win a game in the majors.

Not bad, right? Now add more than 20 years.

Japanese mountaineer Tamae Watanabe, 73, is still climbing; she set a world record May 19 by becoming the oldest woman to scale Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. She broke her own record set when she was 62.

Exercise experts say we should expect to hear more examples like these — exceptionally healthy adults who are transforming our image of aging.

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Some scientists go so far as to say exercise actually slows aging. A 1990 study comparing masters athletes and sedentary people shows that people who continue to engage in regular vigorous exercise show one-half the rate of decline in maximal aerobic capacity as the sedentary subjects. Recent research even shows aerobic activity is important for healthy cognitive functions. Regular exercise eases the stiffness and pain of arthritis.

Sports doc and triathlete Jordan Metzl knows this firsthand. He says he has some arthritis, but says exercise helps him. In his new book, The Athlete's Book of Home Remedies, he has a section on strengthening exercises you can do at home to help protect ligaments and joints.

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