Keep Moving

The Walking Man. Oil on canvas. Shanna Bruschi.

I can’t stop thinking about this:

One in four women over age 65 is unable to walk two blocks or climb a flight of stairs. Known as mobility disability, it is the leading type of incapacity in the United States and a key contributor to a person’s loss of independence.

The press release for the study says that light-intensity physical activity – a casual walk, shopping, light gardening – can protect mobility. Good, because:

Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity is increasingly more difficult to perform as people age. Considering the aging population in the United States, these findings could have major impacts on public health recommendations.

How much?

The mean time spent in light physical activity was 4.8 hours per day. [However,] the highest levels of light-intensity physical activity are unnecessary. After five hours of activity, we observed no further increase in benefit.

And this:

Light-intensity physical activity was associated with preserved mobility regardless of the amount of higher-intensity physical activities, such as brisk walking, jogging or running, the women engaged in.

As long as we keep moving…

4 thoughts on “Keep Moving

  1. Patrick

    Strength training (that is, weight lifting) is by far the most effective way for the elderly to maintain their mobility. Much more so than “light-intensity physical activity”. It really is the golden pill.

    I know many brave strength trainers for the elderly who are trying to get the word out, but it doesn’t seem to be sinking in. I guess in most people’s minds, weight lifting and old people seem like a mismatch, or old people think weight lifting is more threatening than it actually is. It’s really a shame that so few people are informed about this. My number one inspiration for beginning weight lifting in my 40’s was seeing how constrained my grandmother’s life became once she was no longer able to walk long distances. I’ll be sticking with it for life.



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