Mobility: Use it or lose it

Mobility: Use it or lose it

Posted on February 18, 2015 by ElderCare Phoenix in Activities of Daily Living, Blog, Mobility / Wheelchair

By: Erin Dacy

No doubt you’ve heard fitness experts say you need to “move it-or lose it!” – now a new study proves there is science behind that old saying, especially when it comes to our aging population. Experts say even a little activity can go a long way toward keeping those in their seventies, eighties and beyond – on their feet and independent.

Josephine Scott moves like a woman 20 years her junior. At age 78, she lives on her own – and loves it.

Josephine was part of a two and a half year national trial – evaluating fitness in the elderly.

The life study or lifestyle interventions for the elderly…recruited 16-hundred sedentary seniors.

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Half the group was assigned to build endurance – the target was 150 minutes of walking a week. The other half focused on education.

Researchers found moderate activity helped aging adults maintain their ability to walk at a rate that was 20-percent higher than those who didn’t exercise. Consistent exercise also resulted in a 28-percent reduction in people losing their mobility.

Doctor Newman tells seniors to start at five minutes of walking. Add two minutes a week – until 20 minutes feels comfortable. Even short laps around the living room will work for starters.

91 year old Frances Butts walks five blocks to her local library almost every day – she works hard to keep her mobility.

Doctor Newman says structured exercise programs for seniors may be the most beneficial. She says even if a senior suffers an illness or injury – it’s essential to begin moderate exercise again – when they are physically able to do so.