Never Too Old to Exercise

Q: My father, who’s 78, says he’s “too old and creaky” to exercise. Is that a good excuse?

A: In a word, no. Regular physical activity is important for maintaining good health and quality of life at every age. In a recent study, researchers worked with 213 sedentary adults between the ages of 70 to 89 with a variety of health problems. More than half were able to engage in regular moderate exercise for a year, and the more they stuck with their program, the more they improved their overall physical functioning. This builds on research showing that yoga, tai chi, walking and weight training benefit people of all ages.

Anyone with health problems should consult with their doctor before starting an exercise program, and take it slowly. It’s important to remember that exercise can mean a lot of things–not just jogging or doing laps. Walking, gardening, doing housework, dancing–all of this counts as activity. The point is to start moving, stretching, and strengthening the body. It is hard to break the sedentary habit, but once people do, they feel better physically and emotionally.

Learn more:
Exercise for Beginners, A Guide to Get You Started
The One Absolute Healthiest Exercise

Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at drbrent@care2.com.

39 comments

Terry V.
Terry V4 years ago

"as tolerated" with my CHF, and have yet to figure what is from day to day it differs

Patricia H.
Patricia H.4 years ago

thanks for sharing

Samantha Shira
Samantha Shira4 years ago

thanks(: adorable photo

Patricia H.
Patricia H.4 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Mpa Mpa
Mpa Mpa4 years ago

thank you

Mpa Mpa
Mpa Mpa4 years ago

thank you

Mpa Mpa
Mpa Mpa4 years ago

thank you

Mpa Mpa
Mpa Mpa4 years ago

thank you

Mpa Mpa
Mpa Mpa4 years ago

thank you