It’s never too late to start getting in shape. That’s a fact. But a study published late last year in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that there’s also a real benefit to exercising consistently. Researchers followed 3,554 people over two decades and found that men and women who regularly spent at least 2.5 hours a week doing some cardio (everything from gardening to brisk walking to sports) weighed less than those who had experienced extended sedentary periods. And it wasn’t a small amount of weight — for men, 6 pounds; for women, 13. The take-away? Even if it’s just taking the stairs instead of the elevator, jogging with your dog or hopping off the bus a stop early to get some extra walking in, the more you can keep moving and keep your heart pumping, the better your odds of being slim when you’re old enough to know better.