Doctors say exercise for the elderly can save lives

Exercise does a body good, but it’s especially important as we age.

People of all ages make it a New Year’s resolution to get in shape, including 81-year-old Loretta Beckley.

Beckley said she started exercising after “I went to a theater and I fell, so I went to the doctor.”

Her doctor recommended exercise or physical therapy to improve balance.

“I feel much more active and I don’t feel aches and pains as I did and I’m more steady on my feet,” Beckley said.

Doctors say exercise can mean the difference between life and death for the elderly.

“It’s to build the strengths of the muscles. That’s connected with a lot of problems where elderly die,” said Dr. Naoky Tsai at Castle Medical Center.

Muscles help stability and balance and prevent falls. Anything low-impact is good, Tsai says, including “aerobics, swimming, or aqua exercises, if you are not a swimmer.”

When it comes to exercise, doctors say consistency is key. In the case of elder exercise, Tsai recommends 30 minutes a session, three times a week.

Another benefit to Beckley’s group workout: “We develop good friendships, have fun, tease each other. So it helps us mentally at the same time,” she said.

You can also exercise your brain. Castle Medical Center’s Wellness and Lifestyle Medicine Center offers a “Brain Booster” series that will run on Mondays, Jan. 12, 19, 26 and Feb. 2, 1-2:15 p.m.

The classes are geared toward those who would like to reduce their risks of mild cognitive impairment or who may already be experiencing memory problems.

Participants are introduced to various exercises, nutritional education and food sampling, mindfulness practice and art.

The series costs $75 and registration and pre-payment are required. Click here to register online.

For more information, call 263-5050 or stop by the center, located in the Weinberg Building, Suite 105.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s