Exercise weight reduction and the elderly
Exercise can't stop the aging process, but experts at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston say that for the elderly, whether it's weight training, walking, swimming or biking, 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week is a good prescription for aging.
"It's never too late to start exercising," said Dr. Robert Roush, an associate professor of medicine-geriatrics at BCM. "Being physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay some diseases and disabilities as people age.".
Loss of muscle mass typically begins in the 30s or 40s. As muscles shrink, fat cells take their place and that leads to a slowdown in metabolism and weight gain even if caloric intake and expenditure remains the same.
"Any type of movement can be considered exercise, but resistance weight training has been shown to be the best way to reduce the loss of lean muscle," Roush said. "Surprisingly, resistance training also increases cardiovascular fitness and it makes your bones stronger, too.".
Strength training is especially important for women. Since women are generally smaller in stature and weigh less than men, they're at a greater risk for developing osteoporosis that can lead to fractures and immobility, making a weak person even weaker.
Exercise can improve your overall health, reduce stress, help weight control, provide arthritis relief and help you get a better night's rest.
If you are not already active, you should start slowly. Begin with exercises that you are already comfortable doing. Starting slowly makes it less likely that you will injure yourself. And one should always warm up, cool down, and stretch before and after any exercise routine.
Roush says it's a good idea to see your doctor or an exercise physiologist before beginning any exercise program, especially if you have any medical conditions such as joint or back problems or heart disease. Once you start, watch for warning signs like dizziness, excessive shortness of breath or pain or pressure in the chest while exercising or shortly thereafter.
"We all want to enjoy longer, healthier, active lives," Roush said. "A little bit of exercise can go a long way. So don't wait until you're older, start early in life and maintain some type of exercise for the rest of your life.".