Should you exercise even though you are older than 65 years of age and if so, what are the exercise guidelines?
Absolutely! In very rare instances would it be contraindicated to exercise when of advanced age (i.e., severe coronary heart disease, arrhythmia, uncontrolled hypertension, acute myocarditis, and/or thrombosis). The benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks. As we get older, such things as agility, balance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, muscular strength and endurance, motor coordination, power, speed, and mobility become much more important. Not surprisingly, most if not all of these things can be maintained via regular physical activity (esp. resistance exercise). Of particular significance, resistance training (i.e., weight training) can reduce the risk of falls and lessen the difficulty of performing the activities of daily living (i.e., rising from a chair, shopping, ascending stairs, etc.). Many of the physiological changes that occur as a result of both aging and inactivity (i.e., muscle atrophy, decreased bone density, high cholesterol and blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, insomnia, incontinence, etc.) can be ameliorated by exercise. The majority of major lifestyle-related diseases (i.e., type-2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, colon cancer, etc.) can be prevented by regular exercise.
Exercise can provide the strength, vigor, endurance, and flexibility in older adults comparable to those who are thirty years younger. In addition, and probably most importantly for most seniors, regular exercise decreases one's dependence on others for everyday activities (i.e., shopping, cooking, etc.). A study was published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (July 6th, 2011) regarding how much resistance training exercise is needed for older adults compared to younger people. The study found that older adults (60-75 years of age) need to exercise more than younger people (20-35 years of age) in order to maintain muscle mass and reduce the risk of sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is significant muscle loss as a result of aging and inactivity.
If you haven't exercised for quite some time, here are the exercise guidelines:
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
Brian Danley, CFT "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." 408-688-1586 (cell) briandanleyfitness.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/briandanleyfitness https://www.facebook.com/BrianDanleyFitness
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I'm a personal trainer who loves to help others fulfill their health and fitness goals. I consider myself a bodybuilder in that I live the lifestyle of eating healthy food, working out regularly, and sculpting my body.