Active seniors less likely to develop disability

active senior using hula hoop Another study supports the benefits of exercise, this time among seniors. Researchers found that seniors who adopted a regular exercise routine reduced their likelihood of suffering a disabling illness or injury, and those who did become disabled were more likely to recover.

The three-year study examined over 1,600 individuals between 70 and 89 years old who had limited mobility, but could walk a quarter-mile. Half of the group was randomly chosen to begin an exercise program, while the other half attended health education classes. Those who exercised followed a program focused on moderate walking, as well as strength and balance training. These participants were less likely to develop a movement disability and were more likely to recover if they did.

Physical activity can bring added health benefits such as a lower risk of depression, heart disease and some cancers. Before getting started, schedule a check-up with your doctor and ask what types of activities are most appropriate for you. Some examples include:

  • Aerobic activities, such as walking, swimming and biking
  • Balance training, including standing on one foot and heel-to-toe walking
  • Flexibility exercises, such as shoulder stretches and calf stretches
  • Strength exercises, such as weight lifting and resistance band exercises