We’ve all heard that exercise is good for you. Did you know that it’s as true for older people as it is for any age group? You’re never too old to get moving, get stronger, and improve your health.
Fitting exercise and physical activity into your day can enhance your life in so many ways. Regular physical activity can improve your balance and boost or maintain your strength and fitness. It may also improve your mood and help you manage or lessen the impact of conditions like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and depression.
Despite these proven benefits, exercise and physical activity rates among older people are surprisingly low. Only about 30% of people ages 45 to 64 say they engage in regular leisure-time physical activity. This falls to 15% of those between the ages of 65 and 74 and 5% of people age 85 and older.
Experts recommend four types of exercise for older adults: endurance, balance, strength, and flexibility. Brisk walking, dancing, and other endurance exercises improve the health of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. These exercises can make it easier for you to mow the lawn, climb stairs, and do other daily activities. Strength exercises include lifting weights or using resistance bands. They can increase muscle strength to help with activities such as carrying groceries or lifting grandchildren. Balance exercises can help prevent falls—a major health risk for older adults. Stretching, or flexibility exercises, can give you more freedom of movement for bending to tie your shoes or looking over your shoulder as you back out of the driveway.
“Even if you haven’t been active previously, it’s important to get started and stay active,” says Dr. Richard J. Hodes, director of NIH’s National Institute on Aging. “We know that people want to live independently for as long as they possibly can. By exercising regularly and including more physical activity in their daily routine, older people can preserve their physical function, which is key to doing the everyday things they want to do.”
To help you get started and keep moving, NIH brought together some of the nation’s leading experts on aging, exercise, and motivation. They developed a guide to exercise for older adults. The guide serves as the basis for a national exercise and physical activity campaign for people ages 50 and older. It’s called Go4Life.
“Older adults can exercise safely, even those who have physical limitations,” Hodes says. “Go4Life is based on studies showing the benefits of exercise and physical activity for older people, including those with chronic health conditions.”
Go4Life exercises are designed to be done safely at home without special equipment or clothing. The free book Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging is the core resource for the campaign. Other free materials, such as tip sheets, are also available. Workout to Go, a mini exercise guide, shows you how you can be active anytime, anywhere.
To learn more, visit the Go4Life website at go4life.nia.nih.gov. You’ll find exercises, success stories, and tips to help you stay motivated. Or call 1-800-222-2225, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail).
I spent my 68th birthday on an exam table at the doctor’s office, squinting at my X-rays on the wall and listening to the man in the white jacket talk about why my left knee has betrayed me.
It buckles when I go up and down stairs, yelps loudly when I try to cross my legs, and jolts me awake from a deep sleep if I accidentally shift positions and bump it. The discomfort was enough for me to choose to spend my birthday in the company of the nice knee doctor.
A longitudinal study, published Thursday in the journal Diabetologia, followed 5,189 people over 10 years and found that people with high blood sugar had a faster rate of cognitive decline than those with normal blood sugar—whether or not their blood-sugar level technically made them diabetic. In other words, the higher the blood sugar, the faster the cognitive decline.
transfer of care for frail older people between providers, with a particular focus on the person returning home.
This paper outlines some of the key issues in regard to the transfer of care for frail older people between providers, with a particular focus on the person returning home. It aims to identify core principles which should be present regardless of local variations in service provision and directs the reader to a number of resources available to support their processes and service development.
You already know the choice of where you live affects your wellness and longevity. And you also know it’s easier to talk with your family when you’ve already thought things through for yourself. So, to prepare to make an informed, proactive choice about whether you’d rather stay in your current home or move to a retirement community, start here with these questions.
Questions to consider before deciding to age in place:
"It can be difficult to realise when we're becoming overheated so it's important to be aware of the warning signs, and don't ignore them once they start, as deterioration can be rapid."
Here are some tips for staying cool:
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