Research may help develop senior-friendly exercise recommendations for improved physical function
Reid Wilson covers state politics and policy for the Washington Post’s GovBeat blog. He’s a former editor in chief of The Hotline, the premier tip sheet on campaigns and elections, and he’s a complete political junkie. Reid is a Seattle native and a graduate of The George Washington University. He lives on Capitol Hill with his wife, Veronica.
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Researchers followed 424 sedentary, mobility-limited seniors aged 70-89 for a year. Participants were randomly placed in a group that focused on either health education or physical activity. The health education group received ongoing presentations on eating right, how to properly use medication, and other information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but did not perform exercise as part of the study. Seniors in the physical activity group were taught a variety of strength (e.g., squats and leg raises) and balance exercises and a walking program that they were encouraged to perform both in a group setting and at home. The researchers measured changes in walking speed and participants’ ability to perform other tasks such as getting up from a chair.
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