The benefits of exercise for the elderly are many and far exceed its risks (eg, falls, torn ligaments, pulled muscles). Benefits include:
• Reduced mortality rates, even for smokers and the obese
• Preservation of skeletal muscle strength, aerobic capacity, and bone density, contributing to mobility and independence.
• Reduced risk of obesity.
• Prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disorders (including rehabilitation after MI), diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer, and psychiatric disorders (especially mood disorders)
• Prevention of falls and fall-related injuries by improving muscle strength, balance, coordination, joint function, and endurance.
• Improved functional ability.
• Opportunities for social interaction.
• Enhanced sense of well-being.
• Possibly improved sleep quality.
Exercise is one of the few interventions that can restore physiologic capacity after it has been lost.
The Merck Manuel of Diagnosis & Therapy, 19th Edition.
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