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The Weight Loss Centre

The Benefits of Exercise for the Elderly

elderly woman exercise

The following is the second part in a special report presented on the benefits of exercise for the elderly. Before commencing any exercise programme  you should consult your doctor.

Some types of exercise improve just one area of health or ability. More often, though, an exercise has many different benefits.

In other words, exercise as much as you can. It's best to increase both the types and amounts of exercises and physical activities you do. Gradually build up to include:



   balance, and

   flexibility exercises.

Now that you have read about all the benefits of exercise, we hope you are enthusiastic about getting started. However, itís important to start at a level you can manage and work your way up gradually.

For one thing, if you do too much too quickly, you can damage your muscles and tissues, and that can keep you on the sidelines. For another, your enthusiasm needs to last a lifetime.

The benefits of exercise and physical activity come from making them a permanent habit. Start with one or two types of exercises that you can manage and that you really can fit into your schedule, then add more as you adjust to ensure that you will stick with it.

How much you exercise depends on you and on your unique situation. For some, muscle-building exercise might mean pushing more than a hundred pounds of weight at the local gym to keep your legs in shape for hiking or jogging. For others, it might mean lifting 1-pound weights to strengthen your arm muscles enough to use a washcloth.

That might mean the dignity that comes from being able to wash yourself, instead of having someone else do it for you. The goal is to improve from wherever you are right now.

Some people are reluctant to start exercising because they are afraid it will be too strenuous. Researchers have found that you donít have to do strenuous exercises to gain health benefits; moderate exercises are effective, too.  


Many people 90 and older who have become physically frail from inactivity can more than double their strength through simple exercises in a fairly short time.  For some, that can mean the difference between getting up from a chair by themselves or depending on someone to help them.  In one study, some people 80 and older progressed from using walkers to using canes after doing simple muscle-building exercises for just 10 weeks.


Source: Adapted from National Institute on Aging


Part 1: I'm elderly, what can exercise do for me?

Part 2: Exercises for the elderly

Part 3: Is it safe for me to exercise?

Part 4: Is it safe for me to exercise? ...continued







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