Get Moving! Exercise can Enhance and Extend Your Life
Regular exercise is essential to healthy aging. It lowers risk factors linked to the development of chronic disease, such as, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high levels of triglycerides. In turn, physical inactivity has been linked to the development of heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association (AHA) cites physical inactivity as a major risk factor for developing coronary artery disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights regular physical activity as one of the most important steps to take to prevent serious health problems that can occur with age.
Different activities lead to different health benefits. Some forms of exercise, such as strengthening exercises, improve flexibility and balance. Aerobic exercise increases cardiovascular fitness and endurance. Examples of aerobic activities include brisk walking, bicycling, jogging and dancing. CDC’s guidelines recommend that older adults 65+ who have no limiting health conditions participate in moderate-intense aerobic activities for at least two and a half hours every week. It also recommends including muscle-strengthening exercises, such as, lifting weights, working with resistance bands, heavy gardening, or yoga on two or more days every week. Strengthening exercises can increase a person’s flexibility and balance, which reduce the likelihood and severity of falls.
Recent Exercise Statistics for Adults 65+
Statistics published by CDC in 2009 indicate that older adults in the age range, 65 to 74 years old, exercise more than those 75+. In addition, the statistics indicate that older men exercise more than older women.
The statistics state that 38.5 percent of men, 65 to 74 years old, exercised regularly and 31.1 percent of women in the same age range exercised regularly. The numbers decrease for adults 75+. 23 percent of men 75+ exercised regularly and 14 percent of women 75+ exercised regularly.
Learn More about the Benefits of Exercise
To learn more about the benefits of exercise and tips for incorporating exercise into your life, visit these resources:
Last Modified: 12/31/1600