Exercise at any age is important. But for elderly people it is possibly even more crucial. Since conditions more common to the elderly impact mobility (Parkinson’s, heart disease, arthritis, etc.), mobility maintenance can really make a difference. A recent study conducted by the University of Birmingham into the individuals who exercise at any age looked at two groups of men – one which engaged in high impact competitive sports and the other that had never participated in a structured fitness program. Both groups worked out on an exercise machine during which time muscle was measured 48-hours before and after. It was thought that the competitive sports group would have way more muscle built but that was not the case.
“Our study clearly shows that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been a regular exerciser throughout your life, you can still derive benefit from exercise whenever you start. Obviously a long-term commitment to good health and exercise is the best approach to achieve whole-body health, but even starting later on in life will help delay age-related frailty and muscle weakness.” What this indicates therefore is that irrespective of age, one can start an exercise program. The elderly should not be put off into thinking that they will never be able to exercise; it’s simply not true. In addition however, the elderly – as well as other demographics – should be encouraged to engage in everyday exercise like walking, gardening, etc., so that when they begin a fitness program it will not be so overwhelming.