Staying active may curb senior falls


November 10, 2011

Exercise may improve cognitive skills in fibromyalgia sufferersMany seniors might question if it's possible to age without becoming frail. Most might assume that they can achieve this through always eating healthy, exercising and taking part in other healthy activities. According to a new study published in The Physician and Sportsmedicine, researchers looked to examine this very theory and found that exercising may be the key, The New York Times reports.

To test this, the researchers looked at competitive runners, cyclists and swimmers who ranged in age from 40 to 81. Five men and five women represented each age group that was broken up into four sections – 40 to 49, 50 to 50, 60 to 69 and 70 and older. All involved were still actively training and worked out at least four times a week.

From the data, scientists found that the athletes in the 70 and older group had similar thigh muscle mass to athletes in their 40s. However, they also found that the actual leg muscle strength an athlete had started to go down around the age of 60 in both men and women.

"The changes that we've assumed were due to aging and therefore were unstoppable seem actually to be caused by inactivity. And that can be changed," Vonda Wright, lead researcher, told the publication.

Although staying strong and fit with age may keep falls among physically active seniors at bay, they still can occur. Because of this seniors living alone may want to install a medical alert system into their homes so they have the security of calling for help if they are faced with an emergency. 

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