Science Wednesday: Yes, exercise works at any age.

The science is in: exercise is great for us, at any age. Move in order to be able to move more...and more freely. (Image courtesy of Ambro /
The science is in: exercise is great for us, at any age. Move in order to be able to move more…and more freely. (Image courtesy of Ambro /

So, according to a dear friend who posted this idea to my Facebook account yesterday after I bemusedly commented on the fact that the Bum Knee Post from Monday attracted more readers in a single day than any other post for at least the last month…I have some content here that appears to be “age-appropriate.” For people of, ahem, a certain age. (You want to know what she said. Of course you do. She wants me to pitch a story to AARP Magazine, okay? I’m 42. But evidently the Bum Knee Rap has some relevance here for the AARP readership.)

Because – and gosh, how I didn’t connect the dots before now is beyond me – limitations in physical activity really do happen, a lot, as we get older.

And we have choices.

We can either use those creaks and cracks and whatevers to stay in our rocking chairs and play with our pet cats…or we can decide that, come hell or high water, we’re going to stay mobile, and we’ll work around the creak or the crack to make it work.

So on Science Wednesday I bring you this report on exercise and aging from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The subtitle of the article says it all:

Study proves daily exercise can prevent loss of mobility

Well, duh. But it’s all good science – and I’m convinced that it’s true. I have a lot of company, by the way, in the movement-equals-slower-aging brigade. Just check out John Medina’s hilariously readable book Brain Rules. Rule #1: Exercise boosts brain power. Yup. If you’re toying with a vexing problem, take a break…and move. Forget the donut, the break room, or for goodness’ sake, the cigarette. Power-walk around the block for twenty minutes, preferably with some good music to power you. (My current iPod: Coldplay, Yes, Rush, U2. The old stuff. Old music keeps you…young. Really, it does. If you haven’t heard The Unforgettable Fire, stop everything right now and go make Apple a few more bucks by downloading it. Classic. Anyway, I digress.)

Here are the top takeaways from that exercise and mobility study (quoted directly from the Post-Gazette article):

 A physical activity program consisting of aerobic, resistance and flexibility exercises significantly reduced the risk of a major mobility disability.

Moderate physical activity helped aging adults maintain their ability to walk at a rate 18 percent higher than older adults who did not exercise, the study showed. Moreover, there was a 28 percent reduction in people permanently losing the ability to walk easily.

The benefit of physical activity was proportionately greater for the seniors who began the study with the lowest physical function, the researchers found.

Got all that? Check out the full article for the straight talk – and the specs on the research, and the workout they had the research subjects perform to get those results. These findings just makes perfect sense to me. Move, in order to be able to move more. Good advice at any age.

Yesterday’s #Every48 workout: A rest day.





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