When it comes to exercise and fitness, there are success stories all around us. For more exercise success stories, visit http://go4life.niapublications.org/get-started/see-success-stories.
Meg, age 67, District of Columbia
Activities: Bicycling and Weight Lifting
When I was 25 years old, I was diagnosed with pre-arthritis in my knees. After living with progressively deteriorating joints for 40 years, in 2009 I had knee replacement. It really changed my life! Prior to surgery, I was in a great deal of pain and had difficulty walking. After surgery, I spent three months in physical therapy, and now I feel much more confident and comfortable moving around in daily life. My husband and I like to go to the gym together to stay active. I ride the stationary bike and lift weights, both of which help me feel better and keep the muscles around my knee in good shape.
There are specific benefits of exercise for health and aging:
- Maintaining cardiorespiratory health: In one study, moderately fit women and men had a 50 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, obesity, and some cancers compared with the low-fit group. Highly fit people had even lower risk.
- Reducing osteoarthritis pain: In a clinical trial of people 60 and older with knee osteoarthritis, people who participated in an aerobic exercise or resistance exercise program reported less pain and better function than those assigned to a health education program only.
- Preventing diabetes: The NIH-sponsored Diabetes Prevention Program, which examines ways to prevent or delay non-insulin-dependent diabetes, found that people over 60 at high risk for diabetes reduced their risk by 71 percent by adopting a moderate exercise routine and a low-fat diet.
NIHSenior Health Videos
the NIH Directors
The leadership of the 27 different institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health all take part in one or more types of fitness exercise — a key to good health at any age. To view the Directors in action, visit http://nihseniorhealth.gov/videolist.html#exercise.
Click to play video
Richard J. Hodes, M.D., Director,
National Institute on Aging — Weightlifting
Click to play video
Marie A. Bernard, M.D., Deputy Director,
National Institute on Aging —Yoga
To Find Out More
- Go4Life from the National Institute on Aging
- NIHSeniorHealth website—Exercise videos
- NIHSeniorHealth website—Exercise for older adults
- MedlinePlus—Exercise for seniors