Okay, I'm not in my 50s (YET!), but this story from NPR is encouraging:
A new study of 13,535 women finds that women who regularly walked for exercise in their 50s were much healthier in their 70s and beyond.
"This is the big picture," says epidemiologist Francine Grodstein of the Brigham and Women's Hospital. "This wasn't just looking at who had a heart attack." The researchers looked to see whether women had developed chronic conditions, including diabetes, kidney disease, Parkinson's disease and pulmonary disease. They also looked at cognitive function.
What they found might be surprising, given the level of exercise involved. The brisk walkers — who moved at a clip of about 3 mph — were 90 percent more likely to be free of all these conditions when compared with women who weren't in the habit of walking beyond a leisurely pace.
90%--I like those odds!