Exercise is important for everyone - that's something everyone knows.
Sometimes we don't think of seniors as needing exercise... after all, it's often more likely that they need to gain calories than lose them... but there are very important benefits to exercise, far beyond the "losing weight" that most of us think of. When it comes to seniors, exercise serves a very different purpose!
In 2008, a University of Georgia study showed that seniors who kept up a walking program for a four month period showed "Significant health benefits". It even proved that seniors can make disability less likely by maintaining even a light exercise program.
Researcher M. Elaine Cress, PhD, said that in the past, researches realized that walking and strength training could help encourage independence, and that "Our study found that walking offers tremendous health benefits that can help older adults stay independent,"
In 2014, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported on a Harvard based study that came to similar conclusions.
In the Elders' (LIFE) trial from the University of Florida, they concluded walking can make a difference - even if you are already aged! Dr. Marco Pahor, the lead author of the study , recommends these goals :
• Get at least 150 minutes per week of walking or other moderate intensity exercise
• Do resistance training with weights or machines two or three times a week, but not two days in a row.
• Stretch and do other activities that improve flexibility and balance every day.
Some elderly people feel it may be too late to start on a health or exercise regimen, but doctors assure seniors, their family, and caregivers that it truly is never too late!
Seniors should be encouraged to (literally!) take steps to preserve and encourage their health and independence... encouraging a walking regiment is an easy, fun, and interesting way to do it!
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Tracy Lamourie is the President and Creative Director of Lamourie Public Relations & Marketing. In that world, she represents clients as diverse as politicians, entertainment figures, newsmakers, ethical businesses and not for profit groups whose aims she supports. Tracy also has a lot of media experience - radio, TV, newspapers and new media. She’s worked at various times as a television host, television producer, and radio host. She’s also a human rights and social justice activist with a long history of work on various international and local issues Tracy and her work on various social justice issues have also been featured on television broadcasts as varied as CBC’s The Fifth Estate, Court TV, A & E, CTV across North America.