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Moderate Exercise for Seniors Prevents Becoming Housebound

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Moderate exercise for seniors is more important to your health than previously thought. The news that exercise is important for maintaining good health, as we age, is not new.   But, a new research study from the University of Florida along with the University of Maryland now reports that daily moderate exercise can actually mean the difference between becoming a housebound senior to one that is able to keep up with activities of daily living.   The study, Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) published in the Journal of American Medical Association analyzed 1, 635 participants from the ages of 70 to 89 years old. Eight different study centers throughout the US were utilized. All participants had a sedentary lifestyle, and were able to walk a quarter of a mile in 15 minutes. All were at high risk for losing their mobility. Low physical activity in aging seniors increases the risk for admissions to alternative living settings such as nursing home, hospitalizations and even death. This is an understudied area of aging and the researchers felt it was important to study the effects of exercise in aging seniors that were a high risk for the events previously mentioned.   The seniors were separated into 2 groups. 818 seniors in the first group were required to preform daily moderate exercise that included 150 minutes a week of strength training, balance and flexibility exercises. This group was monitored twice a week for 2.6 years.   The second group included 817 individuals that were required to attend classes on health education and do stretching exercises.   The results of the study found that over a 2.6 year period the participants in the moderate exercise group had an 18% higher walking ability and a 28% reduction in the loss of mobility, than the participants that attended the health education classes.   The good news is that moderate exercise for seniors can have a positive impact on the independence of aging seniors. This study also determined that aging seniors that had physical activity intervention improved when they did experience issues with mobility. More on Aging and Exercise The Unexpected benefits of exercise for seniors Google “Calico” focuses on aging and longevity