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Never Too Late to Start Exercising

No doubt you’ve heard about the many documented benefits of physical activity: decreased incidence of disease and increased vitality and wellness. Are you participating in a consistent exercise routine? If you’re not, it’s never too late to start.

Consider a study that appeared in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which examined the potential relationship between balance and postural control deficits and the incidence of falls. Specifically, the authors sought to determine whether it is of value for the elderly to start physical and sporting activities (PSA). Sixty five men and women (aged 60-85) were divided into four groups based on reported levels of PSA (always practiced; never practiced; lately begun; or stopped at an early age), and a series of posture tests provided information on overall balance control and other variables.

Consistent participation in physical and sporting activities optimized balance control. Subjects who never practiced PSA had the worst balance control; subjects who always practiced PSA had the best control. Most interesting perhaps was the observation that subjects who had begun PSA late in life had nearly the same postural control as those who had always practiced PSA.

As the authors suggest in their conclusion, “…PSA are extremely useful for elderly people even if it has not been a lifelong habit.” These findings are particularly important, as accidental falls are the primary cause of death among the elderly population. Whatever your age, take advantage of the many benefits of consistent physical activity. For more information, contact your chiropractor.

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Perrin PP, Gauchard GC, Perrot C. Effects of physical and sporting activities on balance control in elderly people. British Journal of Sports Medicine 1999: Vol. 33, No. 2, pp121-26.

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