Is Exercise the Best Medicine for Seniors?

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The best medicine for seniors may also be the simplest — regular exercise.

If you made a resolution in the beginning of the year to work out more this year, ideally you’re continuing to stay with it! Adding more physical activity to your everyday tasks is one resolution we ought to all be putting into action. For seniors, many of whom take a variety of medications for different health problems, this is especially true. In fact, exercise may even be the best medicine for seniors.

Research is revealing that, remarkably, doctor-approved senior workout routines can be as advantageous as typically-prescribed medicines in combating or treating many of the leading causes of death. In one study, researchers compared the benefits of physical exercise vs. medication. The finding consistently demonstrated that both medications and exercise shared practically the same results in reducing deaths in individuals who had previously been identified as having a range of common and serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

For instance, the study found that participants with heart disease who exercised but didn’t take commonly-prescribed medicines, like angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors, statins, or antiplatelet drugs, had a similar risk of dying from — or surviving — cardiovascular disease as people who were taking those medications.

Analysts also showcased how rarely physicians “prescribe” exercise as an effective medical treatment. Huseyin Naci, a graduate student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, along with Dr. John Ioannidis, director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center in the Stanford University School of Medicine, worked jointly on the study, determining that, according to Naci, “We are not suggesting that anyone stop taking their medications. But maybe people could think long and hard about their lifestyles and talk to their doctors about whether exercise could and should be incorporated into their care.”

At Harmony Home Health & Hospice, we love helping older adults stay as active as they possibly can, while achieving the best possible quality of life when recovering at home. As the most highly regarded provider of home health in Albuquerque and the surrounding areas, we are happy to encourage, motivate, and make exercise enjoyable. We also offer physical therapy services that are specifically personalized to meet each senior’s unique health and wellness goals.

Call us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE to find out more about how we can help improve overall wellbeing and health for a senior you love!