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Exercise - Summary Of Benefits

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Physiologic aging, retirement, societal expectations, accumulated diseases, and medication and nutritional effects conspire to produce deficits in strength, balance, aerobic capacity, and flexibility in older adults. Fortunately, there is increasing evidence for the reversibility of many of these deficits with a targeted exercise prescription. There is still work to be done in refining the prescription, particularly in terms of the amount of flexibility and balance training needed for optimal efficacy. In addition, there is a need for well-controlled, long-term studies on clinically important outcomes, such as treatment of cardiovascular disease and stroke, prevention and treatment of hip fracture, prevention of diabetic complications, reduction in nursing home admission rates, and moderation of disability from arthritis. An "active lifestyle" may be the most desirable public health approach to the maintenance of function and the prevention of disease in healthy persons. However, it is likely that the use of exercise to treat preexisting diseases and geriatric syndromes will always need to incorporate elements of a traditional "exercise prescription," as well as behavioral approaches, to more fully integrate appropriate physical activity into daily life.



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