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Exercise if you want to age gracefully

Make sure to exercise regularly - it is by far the best habit for staying healthy in old age, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Exercise is probably the single most important activity for those of you who want to age gracefully. The list of benefits is endless and includes such things as weight control, improved circulation, more muscle mass, improved mood, and better balance.
"If you want to maintain your body functions as you grow older, exercise is extremely important," says Paul Takahashi, M.D., a specialist in geriatrics at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "It is never too late to begin," Takahashi adds.

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Become 10-20 years younger by exercising

A study conducted by the American Heart Association confirms the relation between improved physical condition and feeling younger.

800 people in the ages 21-87 years were followed and tested for a period of eight years to see the relation between their age and physical condition. Once a month, the participants tested their fitness and general physical condition on a treadmill. Not surprisingly, the results showed that a person's basic physical condition decreases with increasing age.

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Fat and active beats slim and inactive

Moaning and sweating - that is what it takes if you want to live a long life. If you want to grow old you should use your energy on exercising instead of worrying about weighing a few pounds too much.

A recent American study shows that the key to old age is physical activity. The research results are based on a study where scientists followed 2,600 Americans over a period of 60 years. Their conclusion is unambiguous:

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Do you want to live longer?

Solutions are often surprisingly simple.

If you want to lower your risk of traffic accidents, don't run red lights. Fasten your seatbelt. Avoid tailgating. Stick to the speed limits. Don't use your mobile phone while you drive, unless you have a hands-free setup. By adhering to these extremely rational rules that are really just a product of common sense you can drastically improve your chances of returning home in one piece from a car journey on a country road, the freeway or through the city.

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Exercise as an anti-aging pill

We love to read about pills, treatments, injections and other ways of slamming the brakes on the aging process. Nonetheless, regular exercise may just turn out to be the most effective anti-aging remedy of all.

One of the people who genuinely believes in the value of physical activity is Professor Wayne Derman, an exercise expert from The International Institute for Anti-Aging. He says that studies show how different types of exercise in the right amounts (in terms of duration, frequency, and intensity) may slow down, and in some cases even reverse, the aging of the body. It seems to be particularly relevant for chronic diseases that are typically seen in older people.

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Resistance training repairs age-related muscle damage

Healthy seniors benefit from resistance training because it repairs their muscle tissue, according to Canadian and American researchers who have found evidence of this mechanism on a molecular level.

Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, Director of The Neuromuscular and Neurometabolic Clinic at the McMaster University, Hamilton, and Simon Melov of the Buick Institute for Age Research, Novato, California, compared muscle tissue samples taken from 25 healthy, elderly men and women who had engaged in resistance training for a six-month period and similar samples taken from a group of 26 younger people.

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Training reduces pain by 25% in old age

People who train regularly have 25% less muscle and joint pain on average in old age than those who are less active, according to a study that was published in the science journal Arthritis Research & Therapy.

For a period of 14 years, a team of scientists from Stanford University followed a group of runners together with a control group and compared pain levels in the two groups. A total of 866 people took part in the study: 492 were members of Runners' Association and 374 served as controls.

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Stay calm and live longer

People who are physically active, calm and judicious, and who are able to manage their daily lives, liver longer than those who have a less positive attitude troubled by nervousness, anger or fear. This was concluded by researchers on behalf of a 50-year long observation of American men and women. If you strive after emotional stability and a conscientious and active lifestyle it may help lower your risk of disease, while making you more satisfied with life and - very importantly - increasing your lifespan substantially.

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Exercise improves your balance

Research shows that exercise is an important tool that helps older people to improved balance so they can avoid the age-associated risk of falls.

The study demonstrated improved balance in several test groups of people who participated in various types of training including walking, strength and balance training, dancing, and tai chi. Some of the balance exercises included daily movements such as getting up from a chair and standing on one leg.

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