High Level of Physical Activity, Even at Advanced Ages, Is Extremely Beneficial

by Kevin P. Donoghue | January 10, 2010 1:34 am

High Level of Physical Activity, Even at Advanced Ages, Is Extremely Beneficial

A┬árecent article in RT Magazine’s Respiratory Report highlighted a new study that shows that maintaining an ongoing regular exercise program late into life provides conditioning benefits comparable to non-exercising adults who are 40-50 years younger.

Quoting the Respiratory Report article, “In looking at seniors who ski well into the so-called ‘golden years,’ investigators discovered they have twice the oxygen-uptake capacity of same-aged adults who do not exercise.

The research, conducted at Mid Sweden University, was presented at the American College of Sports Medicine: Integrative Physiology of Exercise conference.

The results for the active seniors are comparable to values for men who are 40 to 50 years younger but do not exercise to improve their stamina. Analyses of muscle samples at the molecular and cell level reveal a profile similar to what is found in younger men.”

Pretty amazing to discover that in your 60s, 70s and 80s, you can exhibit stamina and strength of non-exercising adults who are 40 to 50 years younger so long as you keep physically active.

Not only that, another study highlighted in the Wall Street Journal[1] showed that adults who started and maintained an active exercise program in their 50s and 60s doubled their odds of you reaching age 85.

Now some of you might say, “Why start an exercise program now? It’s too late.”

Not at all! Beginning and maintaining an exercise program at any age and at any stage of chronic disease is considered HIGHLY beneficial. Many exercise research studies prove it. Not only does a regular exercise program improve cardiovascular conditioning, it strengthens muscles and bones, improves balance/coordination, reduces shortness of breath, reduces blood pressure, lowers cholesterol levels, helps you maintain a healthy weight and improves one’s sense of well being/quality of life.

True, exercise will NOT reverse all the damage done to your body from past sins (such as prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke) but it can make you feel significantly better nonetheless and help you become more mobile/active and thereby enjoy a more fulfilling life.

To get started, ask your doctor to recommend an exercise program appropriate for your particular situation. Make sure you tell your doctor that you haven’t been exercising regularly to ensure he/she provides you a plan you can ease your way into.

Alternatively, visit a local fitness center or community center in your area and ask to speak with a fitness instructor/personal trainer. Many of these instructors have received certifications in structuring exercise programs for the elderly and those who have chronic health conditions. In addition, many of these instructors offer an initial assessment and training session free of charge.

While you may not consider yourself as someone who falls into these categories, you may find our exercise program a good place to start especially if you haven’t been very active over the past several years (our program is intended to start you off at a very manageable level and then build intensity/duration over an 8 week period). Of course, if you do decide to purchase and follow our exercise program, we recommend you first discuss the exercise plan with your physician to ensure the program is appropriate for your particular circumstance.

The point is — whatever exercise program you follow — start one and keep it going. It’s among the best things you can do on your own to improve how you feel today and ensure enduring vitality into your 80s and 90s.

Endnotes:
  1. study highlighted in the Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703954904575109673558885594.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines

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