Older adults who are interested in becoming physically active, restarting a lapsed exercise regimen or getting more benefit from their current exercise program can check out the updated Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults topic on NIHSeniorHealth.gov at http://nihseniorhealth.gov/exercise/toc.html. NIHSeniorHealth is a health and wellness Web site designed especially for older adults from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), both part of the National Institutes of Health.
Visitors to the site will find sample exercises from the four categories of physical activity recommended for older adults: endurance, strength, balance and flexibility. Colorful images accompanied by easy-to-follow instructions describe how to do the exercises safely and effectively. Videos of NIH institute directors performing their preferred forms of physical activity and first-person accounts from active adults serve as inspiring reminders of the positive impact that physical activity can have as people grow older.
When done on a regular basis, exercise and physical activity offer many health benefits and can be a pleasure, especially if you participate in physical activities you enjoy. "Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise and physical activity can reduce the risk of developing certain diseases and disabilities that can occur as people grow older," says Richard J. Hodes, M.D., director of the NIA, which developed the exercise and physical activity topic. "In some cases, exercise can help manage and prevent diseases like diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis." Exercise also helps improve balance and helps people maintain their independence.
Older Americans are increasingly turning to the Internet for health information. In fact, more than 70 percent of online seniors look for health and medical information when they go on the Web. NIHSeniorHealth (www.nihseniorhealth.gov), which is based on the latest research on cognition and aging, features short, easy-to-read segments of information that can be accessed in a number of formats, including various large-print type sizes, open-captioned videos and an audio version. Additional topics coming soon to the site include periodontal disease and creating your family health history.
The NLM is the world's largest library of the health sciences and collects, organizes and makes available biomedical science information to scientists, health professionals and the public. For more information, visit the Web site at www.nlm.nih.gov.
The NIA leads the federal effort supporting and conducting research on aging and the medical, social and behavioral issues of older people. For more information on research and aging, go to www.nia.nih.gov.