Genetics influences rate of physical decline in adults over 70

Not surprising. Based on my observations of friends and family over the years, it seems unfair but it happens that as we age, so-and-so easily keeps a fairly trim figure while so-and-so somehow can’t keep the midsection from spreading. I remember years ago asking one woman who was well over 40 how much she exercised to keep her figure. Her answer was, “I don’t. And my mother was like this til she died at nearly 80, and she never did either.”

Well, here it is. Scientists have now discovered a gene variation that’s linked with better mobility for older individuals who exercise. That means you may not even be able to exercise to keep yourself moving because the genetic code dictates you’ll have difficulty walking. And like the guy who for years after a first hear attack sticks religiously to a fat-free, no-salt, no-sugar vegan diet in an attempt to reverse heart disease–but then has another heart attack–you might feel you’ve gotten a raw deal.

And if the world were anything like what we all recognize as “fair,” you’d be right.