Monday, June 02, 2014

Regular exercise and growing old

According to recent research taking regular exercise, including walking, significantly reduces the risks of physical disability in the frail ambulant. Researchers found in the longest-running study of its kind that regular exercise can effectively lessen or prevent the development of physical disability in a population of extremely vulnerable elderly people. Countless epidemiological studies have previously found a strong correlation between physical activity in advanced age and a longer, healthier life. These studies do not however confirm exercise alone improves older people’s health, only that healthy older people exercise. Small-scale, randomized experiments have persuasively established a causal link between exercise and healthy aging but the scope of these experiments has generally been narrow. The long term benefits of the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders, or LIFE, trial have shown subjects were less likely to experience an episode of physical disabilityby regular exercise and were approximately 28 per cent less likely to become persistently, possibly permanently disabled, defined as being unable to walk a prescribed distance. The study is published in a recent Journal of Amrican Medical Association and reinforces the necessity of frequent physical activity for our aging population

Pahor M, Guralnik J M, Ambrosius WT et al (2014) Effect of Structured Physical Activity on Prevention of Major Mobility Disability in Older AdultsThe LIFE Study Randomized Clinical Trial FREE ONLINE FIRST JAMA. Published online May 27, 2014.

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