The Perfect Activity for Retirees by doctorhealth


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                      The Perfect Activity for Retirees

Here’s some health advice for older seniors: go for a walk. Many times seniors
ask: “What’s the best exercise for me now that I am in my 80s?” This is because
other health problems can interfere with being active. Combine this with fears
about losing balance and possibly falling, and you’ve got a recipe for a sedentary
lifestyle. But, for most, walking can be a way out of this predicament —
especially when the walking route is specifically geared to older adults.

Researchers in Seattle recently tested two different walking interventions in older
adults living in retirement communities. One walking intervention was what the
researchers called “enhanced,” while the other was termed “standard.”
Participants were an average of 84 years old.
All participants received a walking intervention that included pedometers,
printed materials, and biweekly group sessions. Those in the enhanced group
also received phone counseling and environmental-awareness components. The
researchers measured a number of different variables, including pedometer step
counts, activities of daily living, physical function, depression, cognitive
satisfaction, and adherence.

The researchers found that, while both groups benefited from the walks, those in
the enhanced group showed improvements for step counts, mental health,
cognitive function, and satisfaction with walking opportunities. Satisfaction and
adherence to both walking interventions were high.

Here’s why you should ditch the car for shorter trips.

There are some interesting subtleties evident in this clinical trial. First of all,
adherence to the walking intervention was high, suggesting that participation in
a walking group on a safe, barrier-free route was a big plus for the participants.
Also, pushing the step count a little helped to usher in greater physical benefits.

If you’re an older adult and you need to get some exercise, consider joining a
walking group. If there isn’t a walking group in the community where you have
retired, why not try starting one yourself? That way, you’ll be sure to get all the
health benefits that seem to go along with walking.

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