It's not too late to start exercising

"ME? Exercise? But I haven't lifted anything heavier than a can of soda in years -- and the last time I ran, it was because I was being chased!"

Yes, I've heard those lines more than a few times. Some people seem to think that because they haven't exercised in years, they no longer can -- and even if they could, it's too late to matter anyway. Little do they know, exercise could be the key to healthy aging. 

If you've ever had those thoughts yourself, I'm here to tell you what I tell my own patients: It's never too late. And now, new research proves it -- showing how exercise, even when you start late in life, can help make sure you don't suffer the disease and decline that often comes with aging.

Get started now after years (or decades) of being sedentary, and you can triple your odds of growing old without facing major disease -- including chronic disease and depression as well as declining physical and mental health, according to the study.

Of course, the only thing better than getting back on track with some activity is staying active all along.

And if you're active already, keep up the good work: You're now seven times more likely to enjoy healthy aging than someone who's inactive. (And if you're younger, consider that your motivation to stay active as you age.)

You don't have to spend a lot of money and you don't have to join a gym to get the movement your body needs. You don't even have to push yourself to the limit with potentially painful exercise.

You just have to pick a hobby that keeps you up and on your feet and gets your heart beating a little faster.

If you haven't done it for years, start with something simple like a brisk walk, light jog or a bike ride. You could also take up an active hobby such as tennis, skating, dancing or hiking.

Pick something you enjoy, and you'll be more likely to keep doing it putting you on the right track to healthy aging.