PUBLISHED: PUBLISHED: 07:01, Wed, Sep 13, 2017
GETTYAnti-ageing news: Physical can help prevent loss of muscle and mobility
Researchers have discovered that small increases in physical activity can help prevent loss of muscle, mobility and independence in older people.
The study, published in PLOS ONE, revealed that adding 48 minutes of moderate exercise a week - or just over six minutes a day - to your current routine helped reduce the risk of immobility and disability.
This includes physical activity such as fast walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, aerobics and tennis.
Scientists looked at sedentary adults who were between 70 to 89, and saw improvements in all those who increased their activity levels.
GETTYAnti-ageing news: Adding 48 minutes a week can help
These are people who want to live healthy, independent lives and are at risk for losing that. Regular exercise can help improve physical function and prevent mobility loss.
"These are people who want to live healthy, independent lives and are at risk for losing that,” said Roger A. Fielding, study author and senior scientist at Tufts University in Massachusetts, United States.
“Maintaining functional independence for older adults is an important public health issue.
“In our first LIFE study, we confirmed that regular exercise can help improve physical function and prevent mobility loss.
“Now we see that small increases can have big impacts.”Wed, December 28, 2016
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GETTYAnti-ageing news: Staying active can help people retain their independence
The scientists discovered that those who exercised more experienced greater benefits.
They looked at 1,635 men and women over an average of 2.6 years.
At the start, all participants were doing fewer than 20 minutes of physical activity a week.
The greatest improvements were in participants who added 48 minutes of exercise over seven days.
GETTYAnti-ageing news: Moderate exercise includes quick walking and jogging
More exercise was associated with prevention of major mobility loss.
"Our goal was to have participants walking up to 150 minutes per week. To see benefits at 48 minutes is encouraging," said Fielding.
"We wanted the physical activity sessions to include exercise that participants could do outside of the study, and we hope that learning of these results might motivate others to try to make safe, incremental changes to their activity levels.
"Reducing muscle loss, functional decline, and loss of independence are important to anyone, at any age, and at any physical ability."