Friday, December 14, 2007

Older and Out of Shape? It’s Never Too Late

Cornell University's Dr. Richard S. Rivlin says. "Many elderly people feel that it is too late for them to improve their health, but that is simply not true."

A study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adults over age 65 can hold diseases of aging at bay by adding a regular exercise plan to their lifestyle and switching to a more healthy diet.

"Our study reviews and presents the most up-to-date information showing the influence a healthy lifestyle may have on cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis," says Dr. Rivlin. "I also believe that the risk for other diseases, like diabetes and pulmonary disease, can also be avoided through later intervention. But, the earlier, the better."

By reviewing scientific literature the researchers gleaned the following information:
  • lowering high blood pressure with improved diet and exercise had more dramatic health benefits for the elderly than for any other age group..
  • older adults who adhered to a low-calorie diet with regular exercise had lower rates of cancer. In one study, risk was reduced by nearly 50 percent.
  • weight training increased people's ability to burn calories and helped prevent osteoporosis.

Such simple and realistic lifestyle changes brought huge benefits for people, even over the age of 65. There are dozens of opportunities in West Michigan to walk, exercise, ski, snowshoe, or canoe with other like-minded folks. It's never too late to Get Off The Couch!

read the full report from Weill Cornell Medical College
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