Running improves seniors’ ability to walk

Running improves seniors’ ability to walk

According to the National Institute of Health, regular exercise is important to the physical and mental health of almost everyone, including older adults.

The study included 15 men and 15 women with an average age of 69.  The study group was instructed to run at least three times a week for six months. After the process, they were required to walk on a treadmill from 1.6 mph to 3.9 mph.

While using the treadmill, the participants were measured for their oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production.

As a result, older adults who had the ability to do aerobic exercises such as running had “a lower metabolic cost of walking” than older adults who regularly walk for exercise.

Study leader Rodger Kram of the Colorado University-Boulder Department of Integrative Physiology, says that running for exercise “slows down the aging process” for older adults who have the ability to move more easily and improve their quality of life.

“Walking for exercise has many positive health effects, like fending off heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and depression,” Kram said in a statement. “It’s just that walking efficiency does not seem to be one of them.”

Physicians say that older adults who have an active lifestyle will also generally live longer.

Dr. William Rhoades, a geriatric medicine physician at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. recommends water aerobics for seniors who have trouble running and walking, especially when they have significant arthritis.

“Many YMCA’s, community athletic centers, or even therapy locations have pools and offer water aerobics for seniors,” Dr. Rhoades says. “Another option is “Sit and Be Fit” programs often offered at senior centers.”

Dr. Rhoades also says that seniors should try walking for 20 minutes at least three to four days per week.

“Resistance training with light weights is also very good,” he adds. “Don’t forget to exercise your brain as well for a healthy lifestyle.”

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.