It is important for older adults to maintain a habit of physical activity in order to increase strength and mobility. The recommendation for physical activity in adults that are 65+ is at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, as well as two days that consist of strength training. There are balance exercises that are greatly beneficial for older adults, consisting of exercises in different body positions, such as sitting, standing, in motion, and progression in difficulty to improve strength and balance.
Research has shown that 75% of individuals in this age group do not exercise at the recommended level. VO2 max is the maximum oxygen extraction attained from physical activity, and there are many benefits of improving your VO2 max. These benefits include improved lung capacity, improved energy efficiency, reduced risk of heart disease and an increased lifespan. VO2 max can potentially improve an individual’s overall health and quality of life, even into older adulthood.
Individuals who are inactive into older adulthood risk becoming sarcopenic. Sarcopenia is the gradual loss of muscle mass, strength, and function and can greatly reduce an individual’s quality of life. Individuals with sarcopenia have an increased risk of falls, functional decline, frailty and mortality. The diagnosis of sarcopenia is influenced by genetic and lifestyle factors across the life course. Sarcopenia also increases the burden of osteoporosis, which lessens the bone’s ability to withstand the typical forces from daily living and can result in fractures. Sixteen percent of the population of the United States is over 65 years of age, so it is crucial that we are able to provide resources and advice regarding exercise and nutrition, in order to maximize their quality of life.
Read more about exercise and its benefits here.
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