A recent study suggests that:
‘people who get even a small amount of exercise may be less likely to die prematurely than their more sedentary counterparts’.
Is this surprising? No, not really. It hardly seems an entirely groundbreaking concept.
However, what is new is that this research is not based on study participants self-reporting their activity levels, but rather on compiling studies where participants used technology that tracked actual movement; measuring actual active vs sedentary time spent by more than 36,000 older adults and followed up after 6.7 years (Reuters Health - Sept. 5. 2019).
What did the study find?
When compared with participants who did no exercise, during the study people who partook in:
a small amount of low-intensity exercise had a 40% lower risk of death;
a lot of low-intensity workouts were 62% less likely to die; and
the most physical activity had a 73% lower risk of death.
Why is this important?
For some, being older with a bit more wear and tear, or having individual limitations (physical, mental or emotional), may cause them to be reluctant to exercise. And then, it’s so easy for these factors to become the prime reason not to exercise at all.
But, this study’s conclusions are important because they show that when such factors are relevant, even doing low-intensity exercises can have a markedly positive effect on our health.
We cannot be justified in saying ‘well, because I can’t run a half marathon or do high-intensity exercise, I may as well not bother at all. I’ll leave that to those younger or fitter than me’. If we do, we may miss the opportunity to live a full lifetime.
Also, just as importantly participating exercise greatly improves the quality of our lives - through maintaining or improving our physical strength and balance allowing us to do the things we love for longer, our cognitive awareness, our happiness, and social connections.
At our Active Aging classes, we are experts in providing low impact exercises in a group circuit environment for those aged 55+. Supervised by functional aging specialised exercise coaches, we are able to modify or extend the exercises to suit your individual abilities.