Saturday, October 29, 2005

Exercise a good prescription for aging

Exercise is good for everyone but it is especially important for transplant recipients as part of their overall program to live as long and as healthy as they possibly can. This announcement from Baylor College of Medicine helps us to focus on our prorities for living.

HOUSTON -- (October 27, 2005) --
Exercise can't stop the aging process, but experts at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston say that for the elderly, whether it's weight training, walking, swimming or biking, 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week is a good prescription for aging.

"It's never too late to start exercising," said Dr. Robert Roush, an associate professor of medicine-geriatrics at BCM. "Being physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay some diseases and disabilities as people age."

Loss of muscle mass typically begins in the 30s or 40s. As muscles shrink, fat cells take their place and that leads to a slowdown in metabolism and weight gain even if caloric intake and expenditure remains the same.

"Any type of movement can be considered exercise, but resistance weight training has been shown to be the best way to reduce the loss of lean muscle," Roush said. "Surprisingly, resistance training also increases cardiovascular fitness and it makes your bones stronger, too."

Strength training is especially important for women. Since women are generally smaller in stature and weigh less than men, they're at a greater risk for developing osteoporosis that can lead to fractures and immobility, making a weak person even weaker.

Exercise can improve your overall health, reduce stress, help weight control, provide arthritis relief and help you get a better night's rest.

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