Heath and Aging

Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging


The National Institute on Aging brought together some of the Nation's best-informed experts on the topic of exercise for older adults to discuss the writing of this book. Each of these experts is a major force in research devoted to improving the health and independence of older adults, and their work is reflected throughout this guide. We are grateful to them and to other leaders in the field for sharing their expertise.

Panel Co-chairpersons

Chhanda Dutta,PhD, Chief, Clinical Gerontology Branch, Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology, National Institute on Aging

Jack Guralnik,MD, PhD, Chief, Epidemiology, Demography, and Biometry Program, National Institute on Aging

Panel Members

Steven N. Blair, PED, Professor, Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina

David Buchner, MD, MPH, Chief, Physical Activity and Health Branch, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, PhD, Head, Department of Kinesiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Abby C. King, PhD, Professor, Health Research & Policy and Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine

Colin Milner, Chief Executive Officer, International Council on Active Aging

Marcia Ory,PhD, MPH, Professor, Social and Behavioral Health and Director, Active for Life National Program Office, School of Rural Public Health, Texas A & M University

Marco Pahor, MD, Director, Institute on Aging, University of Florida Health Science Center

Thomas Prohaska, PhD, Co-director for Research on Health and Aging Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago

James Whitehead, Executive Vice President, American College of Sports Medicine

Donald A. Williamson, PhD, John S. McIlhenny Endowed Professor, Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Special thanks

The following members of the American College of Sports Medicine
reviewed the sample exercises in the guide:

Grace DeSimone, Director, Fitness Programming, Plus One Health Management

Michael E. Rogers, PhD, CSCS, FACSM, Research Director, Center for Physical Activity and Aging, Wichita State University

Walter R. Thompson, PhD, FACSM, Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Health, Georgia State University

Thanks also go to Jane Hirshberg and Susanne C. Larsen from the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange for their help recruiting the participants for the photoshoot for the sample exercises.

Kelly-Marie Berry
Ruth Cohen
Joaquin Corrillo
Ralph Glenmore
Doris Kennedy
Nora Lopez
Bodil Meleney
Quincy Northrup
Paul Ramos
Peg Schaefer
Andy Torres
Bea Wattenberg

Personal Trainer
Michele Ryon

Anne Brown Rodgers

Karen M. Pocinki, MA
NIA Office of Communications and Public Liaison

Health Communications Consultant
Marcia Pruzan
Academy for Educational Development

Levine & Associates

Doug Sanford, Photogroup

Go4Life Logo
The National Institute on Aging's online exercise and physical activity campaign, Go4Life®, was designed to help adults 50 and older incorporate more exercise and physical activity into their daily lives. On the Go4Life website you can:

  • Find a sample exercise routine called Workout to Go
  • Watch exercise videos
  • Submit your own exercise success stories
  • Print educational tip sheets
  • Send motivational e-cards
  • Listen to or download an audiobook version of this Guide
  • Use interactive tools in the My Go4Life section to make an exercise plan and track your progress over time

For more information visit www.nia.nih.gov/Go4Life.


Publication Date: May 2011
Page Last Updated: January 22, 2015