Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

At Any Age, It’s Wise to Exercise

Posted by Dr. Gray on Thursday, July 31, 2008

The benefits of exercise have been well-documented over the years. Among other benefits, numerous studies have shown that exercise can help reduce the incidence of disease, promote weight loss, and improve mental health. A recent long-term study set out to examine if exercising during the senior years benefits people who were previously sedentary.

Canadian researchers investigated two groups of previously sedentary healthy adults, ages 55-75 years at baseline, for 10 years. One group remained sedentary during the study period, while the other group engaged in regular exercise. consisting of 30- to 45-minute aerobic sessions, three times a week, for a minimum of 46 weeks a year.

At the conclusion of the study, researchers examined data for 161 participants in the active group and 136 participants in the sedentary group. Among their findings: “The active group showed a significantly lower prevalence (11%) of metabolic syndrome than the sedentary group (28%) at 10 years.” (Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that can lead to type-2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, among other health problems.) The sedentary group also had a 13% decrease in fitness over the 10-year study period, while the exercise group showed a small increase in fitness levels. In the exercise group, HDL, or “good” cholesterol, increased by 9%, whereas the sedentary group showed an 18% decrease in HDL. The active group also had “fewer comorbid conditions, and fewer signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease” than their sedentary counterparts.

We, here at Gray Chiropractic, can help design a comprehensive exercise program suitable to your needs.


One Response to “At Any Age, It’s Wise to Exercise”

  1. This blog relates to my post on my blog today, which you can reach on the community page of my website. Here it is:

    Diabetes is not contagious. You cannot “catch” it. However, certain stereotypes can increase the chance of developing diabetes. Americans are increasingly overweight. According to recent reports, the number of diabetics in the United States is predicted to be about 8.9 percent of the population by the year 2025. That’s almost 9 out of every 100 people will be a diabetic. Think maybe America is headed in the wrong direction? Think about this. In the old days people used to all eat at home and maybe eat out as a treat once a month or so. Then, after school kids would come home and run around and ride their bikes until dinner, then after dinner, go back out and play until it was time to come in. But now through the competiveness of fast food restaurants and the need for both parents to be in the workforce, the timesaving factor of stopping at McDonalds on the way home and picking up dinner for the family at probably the same price it would cost you to make dinner anyway just makes all the sense. Then through the marvels of today’s technology, after dinner the kids go back to their playstation 3 or xbox 360 (where they probably were after school until before dinner) and stay there until bedtime. And I don’t even want to go into supersize. That’s just foolish to tack all those extra carbs which are not needed onto the diet of your children or yourself. People say “well, my kids like McDonalds fries”. That’s fine but do you think they will like being diagnosed with diabetes when they are about 30 years old or so later in life? Diabetes can be inherited, but this is not always the case, for the most part it is developed over the course of many years through improper dieting and not enough of an active lifestyle. So what I recommend to turn this problem around is that everyone start eating a low fat (not no fat), low carb (not no carb) diet as high in protein as possible. The reason I say not no fat and not no carb is because people always try these type of fad diets and even if they do work they will eventually find that they cannot continue this type of diet forever. Then once they stop the diet, the old bad habits come back and all the weight and problems come right back too. So, you need to work a sensible balanced diet into your lifestyle, something you can live with in comfort. Then, I reccomend having some type of cardio machine in the house for the family to use. Some examples of these are available on my website. However, remember the competiveness of business today dictates that you get what you pay for. Don’t run out and buy the cheapest exercise bike you can or it will break and so will your plan for your family to exercise in the comfort of your house. Personally, I have a LeMond Fitness gforce rt in my house. It cost about $2500.00 on sale. But I have gone through cheap bikes that cost 3oo to 500 dollars every six months or so for years. My LeMond is like the day I bought it (about 18 months ago) and I ride it 2 hours every day at least 5 days a week, and less on the weekend but I still make sure to work in at least half that even on my days off. Through proper cardio exercise and a proper diet, everyone can be healthy and happy. And don’t worry, the kids can can still play their playstation 3 while they are riding the bicycle. Don’t make the price and ease of fast food and todays technology put you or your children on the road to diabetes. With just a little old fashioned effort we can turn this problem around and start heading in the right direction.

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