Health and Aging

Exercise

White House Conference on Aging showcases physical activity through Go4Life Month

In collaboration with the White House Conference on Aging, Go4Life, the national exercise and physical activity campaign for people 50+ from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is bringing together more than a hundred federal, state and local partners to encourage older adults to move more and stay active for better health with advancing age.

Physical activity associated with fewer aging brain-related movement problems

Age-related brain lesions known as white matter hyperintensities (WMH) have been linked to movement problems and disabilities in late life. A recent study suggests that physically active older people may have fewer movement problems caused by WMH. The study, supported in part by NIA, was published online March 11, 2015, in Neurology.

Physical activity and Alzheimer’s-related hippocampal atrophy

Physical activity may help prevent atrophy of the hippocampus, a brain region important for learning and memory that often shrinks in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. A recent study that looked at the rate of atrophy over 18 months in cognitively normal older adults suggests that physical activity may help prevent or delay this Alzheimer’s-related change.

Structured physical activity program can help maintain mobility in vulnerable older people

A carefully structured, moderate physical activity program can reduce risk of losing the ability to walk without assistance, perhaps the single most important factor in whether vulnerable older people can maintain their independence, a study has found.

Older people who lose their mobility have higher rates of disease, disability, and death. A substantial body of research has shown the benefits of regular physical activity for a variety of populations and health conditions. But none has identified a specific intervention to prevent mobility disability.

Request for Information: Mechanisms of Physical Activity-Induced Health Benefits

Increased physical activity has been linked to numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular and respiratory health, insulin sensitivity, bone and muscle strength, and cognitive function. In addition, physical activity is associated with reductions in coronary heart disease, stroke, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, and depression. For most health outcomes, benefits increase as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency or longer duration, although the magnitude of these benefits diminishes with advancing age.

Workout to Go

English

Build up your strength, flexibility, and balance with this free workout routine. These exercises are the best for o lder adults, at home or on the go.

Go4Life exercise and physical activity campaign at three

Get free fitness, exercise, nutrition and health tools from Go4Life. Watch video, read success stories, and learn about balance, strength, endurance and more. 

Exercise and Physical Activity

English

Get tips for starting a simple, safe exercise program at home.

This tip sheet is available as a PDF and an eBook. You can also find information about exercise and physical activity in Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease: Your Easy-to-Use Guide from the National Institute on Aging.

Go4Life Update

Go4Life® en español

Go4Life, NIA’s national exercise and physical activity campaign encourages Americans 50 and older to fit exercise and physical activity into daily life. Go4Life offers exercises, motivational tips, safety information, and free resources for health professionals and the public. The campaign now has 12 federal partners and 65 partners from the private sector.

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