Exercise & Fitness

Many people assume that it's normal for elders to slow down and become less active, but being inactive can cause elders to lose ground in four areas that are important for staying healthy and independent: strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance. Exercise and physical activity can help elders maintain or even partly restore function in these four areas. Some exercise is possible no matter how old or frail an elder becomes, and it can be just as important as medication in the treatment of certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes.

Fitness programs also offer a chance for elders to socialize. This may help some elders overcome their resistance to exercising. The elder's doctor may know of programs at local medical centers, and YMCAs, local churches, and senior centers may offer programs specifically designed for elders. Keep in mind that it is important for you or the elder in your care to talk with a doctor before starting a new exercise routine. For more information, contact the following:

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