Benefits of exercise in older adults

 The American College of Sports Medicine has issued its position on the importance of exercise and physical activity in older adults.

Here are the highpoints.

2 statements deserve emphasis.

  • No amount of physical activity can stop the biological aging process.
    • But regular exercise can minimize the physiological effects of an otherwise sedentary lifestyle and increase active life expectancy by limiting development and progression of chronic disease and disabling conditions.
  • There’s growing evidence for significant psychological and cognitive benefits accruing from regular exercise by older adults.

Here’s what’s important about exercise of moderate intensity.

  • Cardiovascular adaptations at rest and in response to acute dynamic exercise for healthy middle-aged and older adults after 3 months
  • Reduced total body fat in overweight middle-aged and older adults
  • Improved muscular endurance

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “Ideally, exercise prescription for older adults should include aerobic exercise, muscle strengthening exercises, and flexibility exercises.”

“All older adults should engage in regular physical activity and avoid an inactive lifestyle.”

A detailed review of the position statement is on Medscape.

7/14/09 17:31 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.