Exercise Increases Independence for Older Adults

As we age, losing the ability to walk a short distance often means losing independence. Now researchers say they have found a treatment that, for some, can prevent the loss of mobility.

The prescription: a moderate exercise program. The program of walking, strength training, stretches and balance exercises was tested on sedentary adults ages 70 to 89, all of whom started out in declining physical condition. Results were published in the medical journal JAMA.

Read the full article in USA Today.

To Age Well, Walk Frequently

Regular exercise, including walking, significantly reduces the chance that a frail older person will become physically disabled, according to one of the largest and longest-running studies of its kind to date. The results, published in the journal JAMA, reinforce the necessity of frequent physical activity for our aging parents, grandparents and, of course, ourselves.

Reported in the New York Times. Read the entire article here.

 

Moderate Excercise: How Intense Must It Be?

How do we define “moderate exercise”? The question is prompted by federal guidelines recommending that we get 150 minutes of moderate — or 75 minutes of vigorous — aerobic exercise each week. American guidelines suggest that during moderate exercise, you should be able to “talk, but not sing.”  It seems subjective, so researchers at York University in Toronto set out to determine how realistic people’s perceptions are about how intensely they exercise. They found that volunteers overestimated how hard they were exercising and so might not obtain the full benefits they were expecting. Read the full article for information about how the study measured exercise intensity. The article concludes with a bit of encouragement: “any amount of physical activity at almost any intensity will have some health benefits.”