Help Fight off Illness with Exercise

Exercise’s Impact on Aging

Exercise plays an important role in how we feel, how we move, and how we age. Exercise among the middle-aged and older adults tends to decrease the older we get. It is believed that only 10% of adults over the age of 65 exercise regularly. This tells us that what we have come to know about aging is from the experience of 90% of the population who do not get regular exercise.

Image result for elderly exercising

Newer studies have aimed to look at exercise’s impact on our muscles and immune system as we age. They compared a group of 55 to 79 year old males and females who remained physically active (mostly through cycling) to a group of sedentary adults. When the scientists measured the physical and cognitive abilities of those who exercised regularly they were found to have improved reflexes, memory, balance, and metabolic profiles compared to the sedentary group. Muscle biopsies taken from the legs of the exercise group showed those who exercised regularly were more likely to retain their muscle size, fiber composition, and other markers of good health over time. These studies also showed the exercise group had an increased number of cells used to fight off illnesses (T cells) compared to the sedentary group.

A helpful tip as you age is to choose to move; this can be through activities such as walking, running, biking, stretching, yoga, lifting weights, or any type of physical activity you find beneficial for your body and mind. You will likely notice a benefit in the present as well the future.

To schedule a free screening with one of our expert therapists in Bemidji, call 218-444-8280! See below for a list of all of our clinics!

  • Bagley & Gonvick: 218-694-3030
  • Bemidji: 218-444-8280
  • Blackduck: 218-835-3425
  • Crookston: 218-470-0132
  • Kelliher: 218-647-9569

Brady Miller – Doctor of Physical Therapy