- Regular exercise decreases the likelihood of developing arthritis-related disabilities. For those with arthritis, not exercising can make consequences of the disease worse.
- Men and women -- aged 65 years and older -- who exercise have a lower risk of losing mobility.
- Brain function improved for older women who walked only 1 1/2 hours per week.
- The fitter you are, the lower the risk of brain function decline.
- Active women aged 54 to 79 years have a 30% less chance of suffering from incontinence than less active women.
- Exercise can significantly reduce arthritis pain in older women.
- Working out for as little as 15 minutes three days a week reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 40%.
- Regular exercise reduces mortality rates by 25% to 33% and increases life expectancy by 1 to 2 years by age 80.
- Fit men have one-third the risk of death from a heart disease.
- Unfit men have a 39% risk of death from cardiovascular disease and 44% risk of all-cause mortality.
- Vigorous physical activity reduces the risk of dying by 6% to 9%.
- Fit people have a death rate four times lower than the unfit.
Zeba S. Geloo, MD
- internal medicine
Location and Office HoursInternal Medicine Associates
110 Irving St NW
Washington, DC 20010
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- Kaiser Permanente Health Plans
- United Healthcare
- Washington Hospital Center
How does exercise affect aging?
You can’t live forever, but you can live well, reduce arthritic pain, maintain your mobility, help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s, and minimize the limitations of aging far into your senior years. Exercise can do all that. This is especially important as the population of seniors grows. Here’s what the newest research tells us:
How can I increase the development of new brain cells as I age?
As we get older, the development of new cells continues in parts of the brain, including the memory centers. In fact, there are things you can do, such as enriching your environment or exercising regularly, that can actually promote or increase the development of new nerve cells or new neurons in old age.
What are the factors in age-related disease that I can control?
Richard Ricciardi, Advanced Practice Nursing, answered
You are wise to look for ways to reduce the impact that aging has on the human body. During the natural aging process, we tend to lose muscle mass over time. Thus, it is important that you do both resistance (strength) training and aerobic (cardiovascular) conditioning on a regular basis. Consider setting aside a minimum of 1/2 hour each day to exercise, and alternate daily between strength training and cardiovascular training. If you do this, and stick to it, you will minimize the effect that aging will have on the loss of your muscle mass. Good luck.
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