Exercise? A secret to aging well?
We know what you are thinking....everyone knows that - it's not a secret. Well, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (chart below), only 28 percent of those 75 and up meet the recommended aerobic activity, and only 8 percent meet the suggested amount of strength training.
If not a secret, then why is the aging population not exercising?
As adults age they believe that they should be more relaxed and that exercise could be dangerous. They do not truly understand or realize that regular aerobic exercise and strength training can maximize their ability to function for longer.
Plus, in addition to increasing and prolonging mobility, engaging in physical activity can lead to a lower risk for heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, depression, cognitive impairment and functional decline. (According to the the University of California, San Francisco's Patricia Katz and the University of South Carolina's Russell Pate)
What can we do to encourage our aging loved ones to get physically active?
- Exercising at an older age does not have to be what it was when they were younger. Start with low weights and intensity, and start slow, then listen to what they body is telling you.
- Talk to the physician about reccommending or prescribing physical activity, how much and which exercises - just like they would prescribe a medication.
- Set physical activity goals with your loved one and make sure they have the equipment they need, support, and the proper environment.
- There are mental behavioral strategies that have been proven to work as well according to this article.
Get more information from the study in this article by Katherine Hobson, Walking Fends Off Loss Of Mobility, And It's Not Too Late To Start