Harvard Women's Health Watch

An exercise program can keep you moving

The idea that a body at rest stays at rest, while a body in motion stays in motion, is particularly true as you get older. When you lose mobility, you put yourself at risk for falls and injuries that can make you even more sedentary. A study published online May 27 in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that a structured physical activity program could help you maintain your mobility for longer.

The study included more than 1,600 sedentary men and women, ages 70 to 89, who were at high risk for disability. Half of the participants took part in a structured program that incorporated aerobic exercise, strength, flexibility, and balance training, while the other half attended health workshops. Researchers followed the study group for an average of 2.5 years. At the end of that period, people who'd participated in the exercise program were less likely to experience mobility issues than those who took the health education classes only. The authors say a structured physical activity program could help "reduce the burden of disability" in older adults at risk.

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