According to a recent study by the European health conference, a daily 15 minute lively walk, “can add years to your life.”  Walking 15 minutes a day can reduce the risk of early death by 22 percent. Dr. David Hupin, University Hospital, Saint-Etienne, France stated:  Age is not an excuse to not exercise.  It is well established that regular physical activity has a better overall effect on health than any medical treatment.  Unfortunately, less than one-half of older adults achieve the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes vigorous intensity exercise each week.  The study involved more than 123,000 people whose lifestyles and exercise habits were studied for up to 12 years.

Even a little exercise is far better than none at all:  Among older people, those who exercised at a low level had a 22 percent lower death risk than inactive people.  Those with medium and high levels of activity had a 28 percent and 35 percent lower death risk.  Dr. Hupin emphasized the fact that even a low level of activity produced a “jump in benefit.”  The average level of all activity equates to a 15 minute brisk walk a day.

Setting a reasonable goal:  The findings are significant, because the minimum of 15 minutes walking per day is a more reasonable goal for many elderly people.  Maintaining an active lifestyle is important for people of all ages, but for older people it becomes even more crucial in terms of dealing with changes in the body that occur with aging.  When you grow older, bones can become brittle and the muscles shorten.  An elderly person can lose the balance and coordination that they have had their entire lives.  Staying active helps keep the body flexible.  Stretching routines will lengthen muscle tissue and help prevent wasting and shortening.  Exercise can reduce incidents of arthritis and osteoporosis by increasing bone density and joint range of motion.  Exercise is also essential to maintaining a healthy heart in later life.  Daily exercise will not only help you to live longer, but will also increase the quality of your life.  You will feel better and be able to enjoy your senior years to the fullest.  “Sholly Sez!” 

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