Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2001 , Vol 4, Issue 2
Abdullah CİNDAŞ
Süleyman Demirel Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı Isparta Advancing age is associated with structural and functional changes in all organ systems, resulting in physiological decline such as decreased aerobic capacity and reduced muscle mass and strength. These changes impinge on the functional capacity required for independent living and contribute to disability. The role of physical activity and exercise for the maintenance of health and active lifestyle into older adulthood is received increased attention. Exercise has been shown to be an effective mode to circumvent age-related changes in the body. There now exits a wealth of data demonstrating that exercise can improve body composition, increase strength, diminish falls, reduce risks for diabetes and coronary artery disease, reduce arthritis pain, reduce depression, increase quality of life and improve longevity. However, important question is that how much of what type of exercise is necessary to active positive effects in older persons. The exercise prescription should be specific to the subject's individual cardiovascular status, musculoskeletal limitations and personal goals. Aerobic and resistive exercise are low cost, low risk activities with proven health benefits. Aerobic exercise such as running and walking, resistant training and stretching if of reasonable intensity and duration and when preceded and followed by an appropriate warm-up and cool-down period can result in a positive health benefits for the elderly. With these benefits of maintaining health and an active lifestyle, physicians should become active in emphasizing the benefits of physical activity to the older people. In this review the benefits of exercise for the elderly and guidelines of exercise prescription is discussed. Keywords : Exercise, Aging, Exercise prescription, Physical activitiy, Aerobic capasity