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Over 60? Here's Why You Should Still Work Out

If you're over 60, you might think you need to slow down a bit in your daily life. While you might get to slow down in some aspects of your life, one area where you need to stay active remains your level of physical activity. Individuals over the age of 60 need to either start or keep working out to maintain their quality of life strong as they age.

Recent research revealed that people who participate in a regular exercise program over the Age of 60 had an 11 percent less chance of getting heart disease. The risk of strokes decreased in people who got routine exercise, too.

Also, people who slowed down or stopped exercising were discovered to have a serious increase in heart disease risks. To attain optimal benefits, you'll need to perform an activity equal to about one hour of running per week. Not everyone can run after age 60, so you may need to substitute walking, riding a bike, or some other form of exercise to achieve the best results. You don't need to start by running for one hour per week. It's perfectly fine for you to work your way up to this level of aerobic activity over time. The trick to getting the best benefits remains to keep moving.

It's Never Too Late

According to Dr. Michael Miyamoto, who is a cardiologist in Southern California, it's important to start exercising now, even if you've never gotten a lot of exercise before now. Everyone who starts to move to the best of their ability should see clinical benefits to their physical and mental health status.

About the Study

Researchers studied over one million people over the age of 60. These individuals were given two health checkups between 2009 and 2010, and 2011 to 2012. The Korea National Health Insurance Service provided these health checks.

During each health check, these individuals were asked about their activity levels and lifestyles. Researchers recorded the amount of exercise each person got and notated changes in activity levels throughout the study.

Approximately 20 percent of the inactive seniors studied increased their activity between the first and second of their health checks. By increasing their activity levels, these seniors reduced their health risk for cardiovascular disease by 11 percent. Even people who were disabled or had chronic illnesses experienced a reduction in heart disease risk when they became more active three times per week. Stimulation of the lungs and heart not only decreases the risks of heart disease but also keeps your chances of developing a stroke and cancer. Exercise helps people to live longer and feel healthier.

Disabilities and Exercise

Individuals with a disability were found to have a 16 percent reduction in their risk of heart disease. This statistic indicates even higher benefits from exercise than the average. Diabetics, people with high cholesterol and individuals with high blood pressure reduced their risk of cardiac disease by as much as seven percent.

Heart Disease Risks Stats and Inactive Seniors

About percent of the participants in the study reported that they stopped being active by the second study, however. These individuals said that they exercised a minimum of five times per week. They became inactive by the second screening. Inactive individuals were then screened. The study determined that these inactive people's risk of cardiovascular problems increased by 27 percent. This aspect of the research indicates that physical exercise has its benefits, but that these benefits stopped when the activity ceased.

Regular aerobic keeps your body fit and helps you feel better mentally, too. It's never too late to start an exercise program. Even if you begin by simply walking around the block once and build up from that point, you need to get moving.

Some limitations exist in this study. All of the people in the research were of one ethnicity (Korean). Also, information about other forms of exercise, such as housework and weight lifting, were not recorded in the study. Finally, researchers didn't know why people stopped or increased their exercise levels.

Starting an Exercise Regime at the Age of 60 +

If you've never exercised much before the age of 60, you'll need some smart advice to get you going in the right direction. If you've been very inactive, you should check in with your health care provider and receive a thorough physical. Your physician can provide you with some suggestions to get you started exercising at a level that is safe for you.

Nearly everyone can exercise and gain benefits, even if you start very slowly. So get up, see your doctor, and get going. Find something to do that you love, and get your new exercise program started. You'll get a surprise about how much better you feel and how much your energy levels increase when you get regular exercise.

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The content on this page is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute professional medical advice. Patients should not use the information presented on this page for diagnosing a health-related issue or disease. Before taking any medication or supplements, patients should always consult a physician or qualified healthcare professional for medical advice or information about whether a drug is safe, appropriate or effective.