Top fitness guidelines for old people

Top fitness guidelines for old peopleFew older adults in the United States achieve the minimum recommended amount of physical activity. Lack of physical activity contributes to many chronic diseases that occur in older adults, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, lung disease, Alzheimer disease, hypertension, and cancer. Lack of physical activity, combined with poor dietary habits, has also contributed to increased obesity in older persons. Regular exercise and increased aerobic fitness are associated with a decrease in all-cause mortality and morbidity, and are proven to reduce disease and disability, and improve quality of life in older persons.

MAINTAINING FUNCTION

Muscle strength decreases with age and may lead to a loss of autonomy and increased disability. A randomized controlled trial examining the effects of progressive weight training in 142 healthy adults 60 to 80 years of age found that long-term resistance training increased dynamic muscle strength, muscle size, and functional capacity.

PROTECTING THE MIND

Physically active adults have a lower risk of depression and cognitive decline than inactive adults. In a study of 1,740 persons 65 years and older without a diagnosis of dementia at baseline, those who exercised at least three times a week were much less likely than nonexercisers to develop dementia or Alzheimer disease. Additionally, participating in an activity, especially regular physical exercise, appears to decrease the risk of delirium in hospitalized older patients. In a study of 779 newly hospitalized patients 70 years and older without dementia, regular exercise lowered the risk of delirium by 24 percent.

DECREASING THE RISK OF MEDICAL CONDITIONS

Regular exercise and increased aerobic fitness are associated with a decrease in all-cause mortality and morbidity in older adults. The benefits are greatest among the most active persons, but are also evident with moderate activity. In one study, life expectancy was increased even in persons who did not begin exercising regularly until 75 years of age.

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