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RelativeResourceManager - Exercise and Physical Activity...

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Copyright @ 200 by the American College of Sports Medicine. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited. 9 Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults SUMMARY The purpose of this Position Stand is to provide an overview of issues critical to understanding the importance of exercise and physical activity in older adult populations. The Position Stand is divided into three sections: Section 1 briefly reviews the structural and functional changes that charac- terize normal human aging, Section 2 considers the extent to which exer- cise and physical activity can influence the aging process, and Section 3 summarizes the benefits of both long-term exercise and physical activity and shorter-duration exercise programs on health and functional capacity. Although no amount of physical activity can stop the biological aging process, there is evidence that regular exercise can minimize the physiological effects of an otherwise sedentary lifestyle and increase active life expectancy by limiting the development and progression of chronic disease and disabling conditions. There is also emerging evidence for significant psychological and cognitive benefits accruing from regular exercise participation by older adults. Ideally, exercise prescription for older adults should include aerobic exercise, muscle strengthening exercises, and flexibility exercises. The evidence reviewed in this Position Stand is generally consistent with prior American College of Sports Medicine statements on the types and amounts of physical activity recom- mended for older adults as well as the recently published 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans . All older adults should engage in reg- ular physical activity and avoid an inactive lifestyle. I n the decade since the publication of the first edition of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Position Stand ‘‘Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults,’’ a significant amount of new evidence has accumulated regarding the benefits of regular exercise and physical activity for older adults. In addition to new evidence regarding the importance of exercise and physical activity for healthy older adults, there is now a growing body of knowledge supporting the prescription of exercise and physical activity for older adults with chronic diseases and disabilities. In 2007, ACSM, in conjunction with the American Heart Association (AHA), published physical activity and public health recommendations for older adults (see Table 1 for a summary of these recommendations) (167). Furthermore, the College has now developed best practice guidelines with respect to exercise program structure, behavioral recommendations, and risk manage- ment strategies for exercise in older adult populations (46). Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services
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RelativeResourceManager - Exercise and Physical Activity...

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