As an older adult, you're likely familiar with the saying "use it or lose it," but you shouldn't apply it just to your brain power. Make it your motto when it comes to physical activity too, because physically active people tend to live longer, healthier lives. And while aerobic exercise, such as walking and jogging, boosts heart health and helps us maintain a healthy weight, strength training also is vital. Regular strength training builds bone and muscle, and helps to preserve your independence, energy and vigor. Chronic health conditions shouldn't be an obstacle, but do check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Tony Lopez, MD
- internal medicine
Location and Office HoursUCSD Internal Medicine
9350 Campus Point
La Jolla, CA 92037
- Anthem Blue Cross of California
- CIGNA HealthCare
- Community Health Group
- Health Net
- PacifiCare/Secure Horizons
- United Healthcare, California
- Universal Care
- UCSD Medical Center Hillcrest
- UCSD Thornton Hospital
- What are the benefits of exercise for older adults?
Can exercise increase bone and muscle mass in older adults?
F. Michael Gloth, III, Gerontology, answeredThe aging process is associated with a decrease in bone and muscle mass of about 1 percent per year, and a decrease in conditioning or functional reserve. However, exercise can be considered almost a "miracle" intervention that can minimize much of this effect. Depending on the intensity of training, the absolute difference can be as much as one third. Studies in 90-year-olds have shown that improvements in strength and muscle mass are possible even quite late in life.
Find out more about this book:Fit at Fifty and Beyond: A Balanced Exercise and Nutrition Program (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)
Is it normal to forget names as you age?
Things that are hard to remember with normal aging are names, especially new names that you're trying to learn, or details of recent events (the spontaneous recall of recent events declines with aging). As you get older, for example, you might have trouble remembering where you parked your car at the mall, which was the exact spot or which floor of the parking lot it was on. That’s considered normal. If you were to completely forget that you’d driven to the mall, then that would be considered abnormal.
The deficits in memory with normal aging are relatively small -- about 10% per decade. Recognition also generally remains stable.
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