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Exercise Can Actually Make Seniors Younger

Aging is a mysterious process that we don’t fully understand. According to a recent study read by Boca Raton senior care professionals, the belief that physical decline is unavoidable with age may not be correct. It turns out that how we age may be up to us, as exercising and staying active has been found to actually help seniors stay younger physiologically.

The Effects of Exercise on Aging

A study published earlier this year found that older people who are physically active resemble much younger people physiologically. The study, published in the Journal of Physiology, examined the health of seniors who’ve remained active. More than 120 men and women between the ages of 55 and 79 were recruited. All study volunteers were very active recreational bike riders. After determining each volunteer’s bone density, reflexes, metabolic health, muscle mass, endurance, and other factors, researchers compared their results with standard benchmarks of normal aging.

The study found that the active cyclists did not appear to be their age.  Physical function was stable across all decades and much closer to young adults rather than seniors their own age. As a whole, the active seniors had the balance, reflexes, metabolic health, and memory of a young adult.

Muscle Mass and Aging

We accept increasing physical frailty and lost muscle mass is a part of aging, but another study found this is not necessarily true. A study published in 2011 found no evidence of physical deterioration in competitive athletes in their 70s and 80s. In fact, the seniors had as much muscle mass as athletes in their 40s.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, many older people today tend to be sedentary. Because a sedentary lifestyle can have a major effect on health, it can be hard to separate the effects of this lifestyle from simply aging. Over the last decade, researchers have been putting together a growing body of evidence suggesting it’s possible to maintain health and physical strength as we get older, although exercise becomes ever more important with age to keep muscles from atrophying.

Interested in discovering more about elderly health? Home Care Assistance in Boca Raton can help. We provide live-in and hourly care, as well as specialized stroke, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care in Boca Raton. All of our care services are bolstered by our Balanced Care Method, which promotes overall wellness through exercise, diet, and purpose. Call us today at (561) 826.9282 to learn more.