Monday, February 21, 2011

Elderly and Life Expectancy: Get Them Walking

How to increase Grandma’s and Grandpa’s life expectancy: Get them walking. How fast they move predicts how many years they have left.
In older adults, the faster a person can walk, the longer they’re expected to live. A meta-analysis that pulled data from nine different studies found that a person’s life expectancy could be predicted by their walking speed. While that might sound scary for sedentary senior citizens, past research has shown that getting active can lead to greater longevity.
Along with regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking can add years and general wellness to your life. Though you might think exercise increases the risk of falling, research from the Journal of the American Medical Association found just the opposite to be true. Elderly people who exercise most regularly have the lowest risk of falls and fractures, because it helps improve balance, coordination and strength.

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