For older people with depressive symptoms, home-based physical activity can improve mood and quality of life as effectively as social visits, according to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine (2010; 8 , 214–23). Many older adults suffer from low mood and poor physical function. The purpose of this study was to assess whether a home-based physical activity program could help older adults with depressive symptoms to improve function, quality of life and mood.
Older adults who wish to remain physically independent should improve leg strength, advised researchers from Wake Forest University and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. The recommendation was based on two studies performed by the same group. The first study evaluated physical function in 230 retirement community–dwelling adults. Many of these residents were found to have lower-limb strength deficits, and the researchers were concerned that these deficits might negatively affect mobility.
Incorporating balance techniques into older-adult training programs is often a go-to method for reducing falls. Recent research suggests that a focus on improving blood pressure may also be necessary to keep older adults safe. The study was published in the May 18 issue of Neurology (2010; 74, 1627–33).
A hip fracture can devastate the life of older adults and their families. Seniors lose their independence, suffer terrible pain and in many cases never regain their quality of life postinjury. However, some encouraging research has emerged that has the potential to lower the incidence of hip fractures in the elderly.
More and more Baby Boomers are engaging in regular physical activity. However, improved fitness levels may come at a painful price. According to the March issue of the Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource, an increasing number of people aged 50–60 are suffering exercise-related injuries. This rash of injuries has given rise to a new term, boomeritis, coined by the Mayo Clinic. The most common injuries associated with boomeritis include tendonitis, bursitis, stress fractures and tendon tears.
Are you looking for a class that helps older-adult participants with balance, coordination, agility, flexibility and strength training? Seniors on Strength (S.O.S.) is a dynamic combination of strength development and cardiovascular conditioning for the active older adult. Mixing in some simple choreography blocks, sequenced for easy recall, will round out your class.
The most popular exercise activities for adults aged 65 or older include tai chi and aquatic exercise, according to Tracking the Fitness Movement (2009 edition), a report released by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA). Even though the fitness industry has been impacted by the economy, and sales of fitness equipment have taken a hit, the SGMA study shows that interest and participation in fitness activities by older adults remain very strong.