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New JAMA study reveals exercise can reduce likelihood of disability in older adults

Written by Diane Archer

There is all kinds of advice to help ensure we can live independently in later life. A new JAMA study shows that exercise increases the likelihood that older adults can move freely and easily over time. And, this mobility or free and easy movement, in turn, reduces the likelihood of hospitalization, disability and death.

The researchers studied whether a long-term structured physical activity program, including walking, better helps older adults to remain able to move around easily than a health education program. They worked with 1635 people with physical limitations who were not active, between the ages of 70 and 89. And, they found that, overall, those who engaged in aerobic exercises and strength training were more mobile than those who participated in the health education program.

Exercise also may be your best bet for bone health; it lowers your risk of strokeit’s good for heart health as well. And, exercise can help you recover faster in the hospital. Exercise can also improve your balance.

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  • ..indeed. In spite of serious arthritis and muscle issues. I still make a point to ride a bike (mostly on side streets with little or no traffic) and/or take walks on a daily basis. About the only time I do not is when the weather is extremely foul (such as we have been experiencing the last few days). I also do my own shopping and errands as I live in an area of the city with a high “walkability” rating as well as having lots of “bike friendly streets and dedicated bike ways.

    Some days it difficult at the start, but once i get moving I find I feel so much better afterwards. I don’t overdo it, particularly when cycling (even though I used to do a lot of long distance highway touring and amateur racing in my younger days) but still enjoy taking on small challenges that will keep me in shape without being overly strenuous.

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