Exercise — The Key to Healthy Aging

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a “magic pill’ that guaranteed our good health as we aged?

While there’s nothing quite that easy, recent research once again suggests that exercise is the best way for us to maintain good physical health as we grow older. How much exercise, you ask? Adding less than an hour a week can make a difference.

The research

Research from the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study followed 1,635 men and women age 70-89 for an average of 2.6 years.

At the beginning of the study, all participants had low levels of physical functioning and reported that they engaged in less than 20 minutes per week of regular physical activity in the month before it started.

Half of the participants were then randomly assigned to a program of walking and walking-based strength, flexibility and balance training, while the other half participated in health education workshops.

The findings

The researchers found that the more exercise the people did, the better their physical function. And those who participated in at least 48 minutes of physical activity a week benefited from the biggest improvement in their physical functioning and the biggest reduction in their disability risk.

Why the results are significant

Physical inactivity that often increases with aging puts seniors at an increased risk of illness, hospitalization and disability.

“People who want to live healthy, independent lives are at risk for losing that,” said Roger Fielding of Tufts University who, along with colleagues from eight field sites across the U.S., carried out the research.

“In our first study, we confirmed that physical activity can help prevent mobility loss. Now we see that small increases can have big impacts,” says Fielding.

The benefits outweigh the risks

“Regular physical exercise can bring a host of health benefits to older adults and the benefits often outnumber the risks,” Fielding continued, “If we want to reduce muscle loss, functional decline, and loss of independence as we age, we need to keep people moving.”

For more information on how the study was carried out and the detailed results, click here.

Healthy aging relies on your ability to keep moving and enjoying daily activities with little pain or limitations.

Keep moving with the help of Ajax chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage. Therapeutic massage therapy is also available at our clinic by Ajax massage therapists Rolf Castanheiro and Jessica Raedisch.

Call 905-427-3202 to learn more or book an appointment.



With content originally reported by ctvnews.ca.