The benefits of exercise have been well-documented over the years. Among other benefits, numerous studies have shown that exercise can help reduce the incidence of disease, promote weight loss, and improve mental health. A recent long-term study set out to examine if exercising during the senior years benefits people who were previously sedentary.
Canadian researchers investigated two groups of previously sedentary healthy adults, ages 55-75 years at baseline, for 10 years. One group remained sedentary during the study period, while the other group engaged in regular exercise. consisting of 30- to 45-minute aerobic sessions, three times a week, for a minimum of 46 weeks a year.
At the conclusion of the study, researchers examined data for 161 participants in the active group and 136 participants in the sedentary group. Among their findings: "The active group showed a significantly lower prevalence (11%) of metabolic syndrome than the sedentary group (28%) at 10 years." (Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that can lead to type-2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, among other health problems.) The sedentary group also had a 13% decrease in fitness over the 10-year study period, while the exercise group showed a small increase in fitness levels. In the exercise group, HDL, or "good" cholesterol, increased by 9%, whereas the sedentary group showed an 18% decrease in HDL. The active group also had "fewer comorbid conditions, and fewer signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease" than their sedentary counterparts.
Your chiropractor can help design a comprehensive exercise program suitable to your needs. For more information on the many benefits of consistent exercise, visit www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/sports/exercise.
Reference: Petrella RJ, Lattanzio CN, Demeray A, et al. Can adoption of regular exercise later in life prevent metabolic risk for cardiovascular disease? Diabetes Care 2005;28:694-701.