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Aging Gracefully: The Benefits of Exercise for Older Adults

It's never too late to improve your health

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The notion that exercise is good for you has been around for quite a while, but until recently seniors have been left out of the picture.

Everyone Benefits from Exercise
Today, new information is emerging from research: people of all ages and physical conditions benefit from exercise and physical activity.

  • Staying physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay many diseases and disabilities, including dementia.
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that even moderate exercise and physical activity can improve the health of seniors who are frail, or who have diseases that accompany aging.

Don’t Be Afraid to Exercise
Exercise and physical activity are among the healthiest things you can do for yourself, but some older adults are reluctant to exercise. They may be afraid that exercise will be too strenuous, or that physical activity will harm them.

Research from the NIH shows that actually the opposite is true:

  • Exercise is safe for people of all age groups.
  • Older adults hurt their health far more by not exercising than by exercising.

An inactive lifestyle can cause older adults to lose ground in four areas that are important for staying healthy and independent: strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance.

It's Never Too Late to Start Exercising
Even if you have had an inactive lifestyle, there is good news. It's never too late to improve your health.

Research suggests that exercise and physical activity can help you maintain or partly restore your strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance.

Growing older doesn't mean you have to lose strength or your ability to do everyday tasks. Exercise can help older adults feel better and enjoy life more, even those who think they're too old or too out of shape.

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