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Chiropractic Research Review

Enhancing Seniors' Quality of Life

In the next 30 years, the number of individuals age 65 and older will reach 70 million in the United States alone, and those 85 and older will comprise the fastest-growing segment of the population.

As our elderly population increases, it becomes more important than ever for clinicians to recommend appropriate exercise programs that can improve health, functional capacity, independence and quality of life.

This position statement by the American College of Sports Medicine presents five major topics regarding the influence of exercise and physical activity on aging:

* cardiovascular responses to acute and chronic exercise;
* strength training, muscle mass and bone-density implications;
* postural stability, flexibility and the prevention of falls;
* the role of exercise on psychological function; and
* exercise recommendations for the very old and frail.

Participation in a regular exercise program can be an effective intervention to reduce or prevent a number of functional declines associated with aging. The benefits associated with a combination of training adaptations can contribute to a more healthy, independent lifestyle, improving both functional capacity and quality of life.

This paper deserves to be read completely by all health care providers. It is thorough, concise and can be applied immediately to clinical practice.

Mazzeo RS, Cavanagh P, et al. Exercise and physical activity for older adults. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, June 1998;30(6), pp992-98.

Chiropractic Research Review

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