A new study has found that disability recovery among seniors is faster if they partake in exercise. The study also found that seniors who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing disability in the first place.
The researchers found that sedentary seniors who incorporated exercise into their lives were able to reduce their risk of disability, injury, and illness. Those who did suffer a disability were one-third more likely to recover, compared to those who didn’t exercise.
Not only do these findings suggest that it’s never too late to exercise, but they also imply that physical activity doesn’t have to be strenuous to offer health benefits. The study focused on moderate walking, which was enough to improve the outcomes.
Lead researcher Dr. Thomas Gill said, “Older people tell us that what’s most important to them is maintaining their independence. What we’re learning is, once disability develops, it’s not uncommon for older adults to recover. It’s not just a one-way street into further decline.”
Dr. Gill suggests that because walking was the main form of exercise in the study, it is very doable for majority of seniors who can incorporate this type of exercise into their daily life. The researcher still stressed that seniors should speak to their doctors before starting on any form of exercise routine.
Even if the area you live in is not pedestrian-friendly, there may be some great indoor areas where seniors can still walk around, such as community centers or malls. If you lack motivation, you may want to try the buddy system and make it a social event to go walking, which can provide additional health benefits as well.