AGE AND EXERCISE
the body ages physiologically, joint flexibility, bone density and muscular
strength are decreased resulting in poor balance and stability. This
translates into decreased mobility/functioning and a higher risk of
falls. In 1995, studies revealed that more than 7,700 people over the
age of 65 died as a result of falling and that one out of every three
adults over 65 will fall. The effect of injury-related falls due to
muscular weakness and poor balance has become a serious and expensive
public health problem. Fortunately, with a regular exercise/weight training
program, the risk of falls is dramatically decreased. The benefits of
a regular exercise regime in relation to improving balance include an
increase in; strength, flexibility, endurance, joint nutrition and protection
and postural stability.
reveal that an increase in muscle strength, especially in side-to-side
steadiness, helps prevent falls and fall-related injuries. In addition,
further studies provide evidence that older patients muscles respond
positively to weight training (demonstrating an increase in strength
and flexibility and a decrease risk of falls and injuries).
and their related injuries can be very devastating physically, emotionally
and monetarily. A 1986 study revealed that hip fractures were estimated
to account for over $3 billion dollars in direct medical costs. Quite
often, injuries from falling can take an elderly from functioning independently
at home to a skilled nursing facility requiring assistance for mobility.
The change in functional mobility for the
elderly is often devastating. Therefore, prevention becomes very important.
is not only essential, but also very easy, providing overall health
benefits for the individual. Aerobic exercise and weight training are
not solely for the young any longer. Lastly, more tests have proven
that as the average American ages, he/she is sedentary, overweight,
out of shape and chronically ill, resulting in a progressively disabling
lifestyle. Because this type of physiologic decline stems from inactivity,
it can be reversed through a supervised exercise program. abbreviated
program that emphasizes intensity and consistency.