Exercise can do a lot of good in reducing the risk of several age-related conditions, a new research has revealed.
According to a commentary and four articles published in the January 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, physical activity can lead to improvements in overall health in older age.
Jeff Williamson, M.D., M.H.S., and Marco Pahor, M.D., of University of Florida, Gainesville, in a commentary said: "Regular physical activity has also been associated with greater longevity as well as reduced risk of physical disability and dependence, the most important health outcome, even more than death, for most older people."
Four new studies published in the Archives "move the scientific enterprise in this area further along the path toward the goal of understanding the full range of important aging-related outcomes for which exercise has a clinically relevant impact."
First study: Among women who survive to age 70 or older, those who regularly participated in physical activity during middle age appear more likely to be in better overall health. Qi Sun, M.D., Sc.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from 13,535 participants in the Nurses' Health Study.
Second study: One year of once- or twice-weekly resistance training appears to improve attention and conflict resolution skills among older women. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, Ph.D., P.T., of Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues studied 155 women age 65 to 75.
Third study: Moderate or high physical activity appears to be associated with a lower the risk of developing cognitive impairment in older adults after a two-year period. Thorleif Etgen, M.D., of Technische Universität München, Munich, and Klinikum Traunstein, Germany, and colleagues examined physical activity and cognitive function in 3,903 participants (older than 55) from southern Bavaria, Germany between 2001 and 2003.
Fourth study: Women age 65 or older assigned to an exercise program for 18 months appeared to have denser bones and a reduced risk of falls, but not a reduced cardiovascular disease risk, compared with women in a control group. Wolfgang Kemmler, Ph.D., and colleagues at Freidrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany, studied a total of 246 older women.