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Moderate exercise "improves physical functioning" for elderly

Moderate exercise
17th December 2007

Moderate exercise can improve the physical functioning of elderly people at risk of disabilities, according to new research.

A study, carried out by researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Centre on Ageing at Tufts University, tested 213 elderly men and women who suffered from health problems such as cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis or had some physical limitations.

The participants adhered to a programme of moderate exercise for one year and were tested on sped, strength, flexibility and balance both before and after the study.

A greater improvement was seen in the physical functioning of people who did 150 minutes or more of exercise each week.

"Larger studies are needed to confirm that exercise can improve physical function in elderly at high risk for physical disabilities," said Dr Roger Fielding, who led the study.

"What we found, however, is that this group can commit to a regular program of physical activity in a long-term randomised trial and the better their adherence to a program of physical activity the greater their improvements in physical functioning," he continued.

Meanwhile, a study by the New York Presbyterian Hospital claimed that it is never too late for the elderly to change their diet and exercise regime to improve their health.

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