|RONALD GLAS, MD FAMILY MEDICINE,
EDWARD MEDICAL GROUP
Seniors – stay fit, stay healthy
Regular physical activity and exercise are important to the physical and mental health of almost everyone, including older adults. Staying physically active and exercising regularly can produce long-term health benefits and even improve health for some older people who already have diseases and disabilities. Even moderate exercise and physical activity can improve the health of people who are frail or who have diseases that accompany aging.
Conversely, inactive people are nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease as those who are more active according to a report from the U.S. Surgeon General. A lack of physical activity also can lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, and more use of medicines for a variety of illnesses.
“We emphasize with our older patients how advantageous it is for their physical and mental health to exercise and keep active,” says Ronald Glas, MD, a family medicine physician with Edward Medical Group. “What’s great is that there are so many options to consider, between daily activities like walking the dog or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and more structured exercises like weight training, aerobics or other fitness classes.”
Scientists have found that staying physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay many diseases and disabilities. In some cases, exercise is an effective treatment for many chronic conditions. For example, studies show that people with arthritis, heart disease or diabetes benefit from regular exercise. Exercise also helps people with high blood pressure, balance problems or difficulty walking.
If you’re just getting started, get the o.k. from your doctor and find out if there are any types of activities you should avoid or that would be especially helpful for you. In addition, go slow at the outset to avoid injuries and burnout. Build up the frequency and length of your workouts over time, so they become part of your daily and weekly lifestyle.
Dr. Glas is a board certified family medicine physician who provides primary care services at Edward Medical Group’s office located at 1247 Rickert Dr. in Naperville. To schedule an appointment, call (630) 357-7979. For more information, visit www.edwardmedicalgroup.org.
Source: National Institute on Aging, www.nia.nih.org