Exercise ‘crucial to older adult’s fitness and health’

Several people consider aging to be a time to slow down and take it easy.

However, a recent study suggests that the more we age, the more we need exercise to keep us independent and healthy.

Yet, sometimes it takes a prescription from the doctor to get adults up and moving.

“Exercise is important for almost everyone. There are very few medical conditions that exercise won’t benefit. In fact, I sometime write a prescription to get my patients to start taking this seriously and help them understand exercise can be just as helpful as medication,” said Keith Veselik, director of primary care at Loyola University Health System and associate professor in the Department of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

“Around age 35 is when our muscle mass and resting metabolism starts to decrease. When this happens our bodies require more, not less exercise to manage our caloric intake. When this starts to happen we can eat the same things, do the same things and may gain 3 pounds a year. That’s 30 pounds in a decade, “he said.

Though exercising is beneficial to nearly everyone, before starting a program he advises that people, especially those who have not been active, to consult a doctor to determine their baseline and to get guidance about what exercises would be most advantageous.

“In my own life I’ve seen the benefits of exercising. When that alarm goes off in the morning I want to just roll over, but I’ve seen such a positive change in so many ways. It can be difficult, especially at first, but the benefits truly out weigh the struggles,” said Veselik.

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