Monday, March 31, 2008

It's Never too Late to Get Active, Expert Says

“For life-long couch potatoes in their 60s, 70s and beyond, the prospect of starting an exercise program can be daunting -- but it doesn't have to be, a researcher told t American College of Sports Medicine's 12th annual Health and Fitness Summit in Long Beach, California. In an interview with Reuters Health, Melissa Miller, who spoke at the meeting, noted that 4 out of 10 older adults suffer from a chronic condition, like heart disease, high cholesterol, or arthritis. ‘A lot of these older adults avoid exercise because they think they are going to hurt themselves or make their condition worse, when, in fact, almost all conditions can be helped by exercise,’ Miller said. Almost anyone can do some form of exercise and reap the benefits, which in the immediate-term include relaxation, stress and anxiety reduction, and enhanced mood. Long-term benefits of exercise, in addition to weight loss, are increased strength and balance, and improvement in chronic ailments, including improved mental health, a sense of belonging, increased life span and overall quality of life. ‘There is really only 1 or 2 percent of the population that cannot exercise in some capacity to improve well being,’ Miller said. ‘Most just need guidance on what type of exercise is best for them.’”

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