Never too old for exercise
Is exercise a hassle? Feeling puffed on a walk to the shops doesn't have to be an inevitable part of the aging process.
New research suggests that exercise is even better for the elderly than the young.
A study carried out at the University of Washington in Seattle found that prior to any exercise program, adults in their 60’s and 70’s used up to 20 per cent more oxygen when compared to individuals in their 20’s and 30’s.
Although initially feeling out of breath, regular exercise resulted in reduced oxygen intake and improved breathing, especially in the older age group. The volunteers were all couch potatoes – none had exercised in the past year, and none were smokers. They were all in relatively good health.
Three times a week they walked or jogged for 30 minutes, bicycled for 30 minutes, and stretched for 30 minutes – a total of 90 minutes exercise each session.
After 6 months, the elderly volunteers increased their energy efficiency by 30%. The younger group improved their efficiency by only 2%.
The good news is that most of the disadvantages associated with aging can be easily reduced by regular exercise - even walking.
Remember: It is a good idea to have a check up before starting any new fitness program.
Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology March 7 2006 http://content.onlinejacc.org/cgi/content/short/47/5/1049