Exercise and Ageing

From the National Institute for Health comes a report  that U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) found that exercise or physical therapy, as well as taking a vitamin D supplement, had moderate success in preventing falls in older adults.

 

From the National Institute for Health comes a report that U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) found that exercise or physical therapy, as well as taking a vitamin D supplement, had moderate success in preventing falls in older adults. The full text of their findings can be read here but in essence the findings are straightforward. Do more exercise and keep your body strong.

They also found that there was what they termed a 'paradoxical' increase in falls and physician visits. This could be because an increase in physical activity leads to greater risks, but one has to weigh up the benefits of the exercise against the risks. In our filming of the Silver Greys we have witnessed many falls in their sporting activity, particularly skiing (we've mostly left them out of the edits to protect their pride!), but since the people we have filmed are probably stronger and more physically capable than the average for their age the falls don't do as much damage as one might think. Of course, people do break limbs skiing but most falls result in no more than bruising.

Also in the US, the National Institute of Health reports on a new national exercise campaign Go4Life aimed at getting people over 50 to exercise more. Their thesis is that "being physically active is essential for maintaining health and independence as we age". (We couldn't really take issue with that, now, could we?) In association with National Institute on Aging they have developed an exercise programme for those who want to get into the habit of exercising. They have divided physical wellbeing into 4 areas of importance - Endurance, Strength, Balance and Flexibility. They have programmes of exercises in each area for people just getting (back) into exercise. On the other hand, on our site we have our own exercise and training section for people who are  already in the habit of exercising, and are perhaps a bit stronger and fitter to start with. They have been developed by triathlete and Personal Fitness trainer Dan Reeves and are demonstrated by SGSC founders Dan Simmons and Denise Simmons.

Incidentally, in the Exercises for Balance section on the Go4Life site, at the top of the page is a recommendation of Tai Chi for improved balance and flexibility, something which we reported on recently.

So it seems that at SGSC we are more and more in the mainstream of thinking, even if our emphasis is at the more extreme end of the spectrum. You just can't get away from the fact that you can get more out of your life post-50 if you make the effort to keep fit and strong and do your utmost to avoid frailty.