Story by: Jackie Hays on April 20, 2016
“Physical Activity Is Essential to Healthy Aging”
“Exercise: The Best Anti-Aging Therapy”
“Exercise Prevents Aging of Cells”
The headlines are different, but the message is the same. Research confirms that we can slow down the aging process by staying physically active.
Carmel J. Person, M.D., gerontologist with Norton Community Medical Associates – Geriatrics, says exercise can help us sleep better, stay socially active, use less medication and ward off depression. It can minimize the “bad” part of getting older and help seniors enjoy a more active, independent life.
Exercise can even temper the effects of chronic diseases, including arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. It may allow individuals to taper or discontinue some medications, but always under the supervision of their doctor. So let’s get started.
Dr. Person’s tips for beginning an exercise regimen
Try this exercise plan for the week
Monday: 30-minute bicycle ride
Tuesday: Yoga or stretching
Wednesday: 30-minute walk
Thursday: 20 minutes of weight training using light hand weights
Friday: Tai chi
Saturday: 30-minute walk
“If you’re just starting an exercise program, start slow and gradually increase duration, frequency, weight and intensity,” Dr. Person said.
Talk with your doctor before starting any exercise program and check in periodically, particularly if you experience weight loss. Routine lab work may be in order to help your physician determine if medications can be decreased or stopped.
For more on health aging and exercise, check out Making Physical Activity a Part of an Older Adult’s Life
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