Health benefits of physical activity in older patients: a review
ABSTRACT As the number of elderly persons in our country increases, more attention is being given to geriatric healthcare needs and successful ageing is becoming an important topic in medical literature. Concept of successful ageing is in first line on a preventive approach of care for older people. Promotion of regular physical activity is one of the main non-pharmaceutical measures proposed to older subjects as low rate of physical activity is frequently noticed in this age group. Moderate but regular physical activity is associated with a reduction in total mortality among older people, a positive effect on primary prevention of coronary heart disease and a significant benefit on the lipid profile. Improving body composition with a reduction in fat mass, reducing blood pressure and prevention of stroke, as well as type 2 diabetes, are also well established. Prevention of some cancers (especially that of breast and colon), increasing bone density and prevention of falls are also reported. Moreover, some longitudinal studies suggest that physical activity is linked to a reduced risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease in particular.
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ABSTRACT: Most nations of the world are undergoing rapid and dramatic population aging, which presents great socio-economic challenges, as well as opportunities, for individuals, families, governments and societies. The prevailing biomedical strategy for reducing the healthcare impact of population aging has been “compression of morbidity” and, more recently, to increase healthspan, both of which seek to extend the healthy period of life and delay the development of chronic diseases and disability until a brief period at the end of life. Indeed, a recently established field within biological aging research, “Geroscience”, is focused on healthspan extension. Superimposed on this background are new attitudes and demand for “optimal longevity”—living long, but with good health and quality of life. A key obstacle to achieving optimal longevity is the progressive decline in physiological function that occurs with aging, which causes functional limitations (e.g., reduced mobility) and increases the risk of chronic diseases, disability and mortality. Current efforts to increase healthspan center on slowing the fundamental biological processes of aging such as inflammation/oxidative stress, increased senescence, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired proteostasis and reduced stress resistance. We propose that optimization of physiological function throughout the lifespan should be a major emphasis of any contemporary biomedical policy addressing global aging. Effective strategies should delay, reduce or abolish reductions in function with aging (primary prevention) and/or improve function or slow further declines in older adults with already impaired function (secondary prevention). Healthy lifestyle practices featuring regular physical activity and ideal energy intake/diet composition represent first-line function-preserving strategies, with pharmacological agents, including existing and new pharmaceuticals and novel “nutraceutical” compounds, serving as potential complementary approaches. Future research efforts should focus on defining the temporal patterns of functional declines with aging, identifying the underlying mechanisms and modulatory factors involved, and establishing the most effective lifestyle practices and pharmacological options for maintaining function. Continuing development of effective behavioral approaches for enhancing adherence to healthy aging practices in diverse populations, and ongoing analysis of the socio-economic costs and benefits of healthspan extension will be important supporting goals. To meet the demands created by rapid population aging, a new emphasis in physiological geroscience is needed, which will require the collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts of investigators working throughout the translational research continuum from basic science to public health.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reservedThe Journal of Physiology 01/2015; DOI:10.1113/jphysiol.2014.282665 · 4.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Beneficial effects of physical training in aged women with diastolic dysfunction (DD) remain controversial. Objective To investigate the effects of a short-term intermittent work exercise program (IWEP) among older women with and without grade I DD. Study design Longitudinal prospective study. Study participants Eighty community-dwelling women ranged in age from 52 to 78 (mean age: 65.5 ± 6.0 years), identified as being free of any cardiopulmonary disease, assigned to two groups according to their baseline mitral E-A ratio (> 0.8 vs. grade I DD). Measurements Before and after the IWEP, an incremental cycle exercise test to obtain first ventilatory threshold (VT1), maximal tolerated power (MTP) and peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) and a 6-minute walk test (6MWT) and a Doppler echocardiographic examination were performed. Effects of the IWEP were computed trough intra- and inter-group comparisons. Results By chance 40 women were assigned to each group. The IWEP resulted in a significant increase of MTP, VO2peak, and VT1, with respectively, +17.4, +19.1 and +22.2% in group 1 and, +19.3, +8.2% and +27.8% in DD group. The distance walked at the 6MWT was improved in both groups. Endurance and maximal cardiorespiratory parameters were similar in both groups before and after the IWEP. For women with an E-A ratio ≤ 0.8, IWEP was associated with a slight but significant increase of mitral E wave, mitral E-A ratio and mitral E-Ea ratio. Conclusion The IWEP enhanced endurance and maximal cardiorespiratory capacities in both groups and slightly but significantly improved the transmitral inflow.European geriatric medicine 06/2014; 5(3). DOI:10.1016/j.eurger.2014.01.007 · 0.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Knowledge on the physical environmental factors that invite older adults to walk for transportation is limited. The current study aimed to investigate the relationships between environmental factors and invitingness to walk for transportation and the potential moderating effects of gender, functional limitations and current walking for transportation behavior. Sixty older participants evaluated 40 panoramic photographs on their invitingness in two ways: a forced choice (first impressions) and a rating task (more deliberate evaluation). Presence of vegetation, benches, and surveillance significantly positively related to both invitingness-measures. Upkeep and presence of historic elements significantly positively related to the assigned invitingness-ratings. For the forced choice task, significant positive relationships emerged for land use and separation between sidewalk and cycling path, but only in functionally limited participants. Environments offering comfort, safety from crime, and pleasantness may attract older adults to walk for transportation. Experimental and on-site studies are needed to elaborate on current findings.Journal of Environmental Psychology 06/2014; 38. DOI:10.1016/j.jenvp.2013.12.012 · 2.40 Impact Factor