Acti-V8: Stay Active

Find a Fitness Center That Fits You

Source: AARP

Source: AARP

AARP and ICAA offer online locater for age-friendly exercise programs.

You've probably thought at least once — or twice or many times — that you need to become more physically active or fit. As we age, we understand that staying active is not simply about maintaining health; it's also about preserving our independence, our well-being and our quality of life.

Yet the thought of trying to mix in with the spandex crowd or cycling to heavy metal music isn't terribly appealing. And who among us doesn't have a tricky knee or arthritis or some other condition? 

After age 45, you're more likely to be selective about where you go to exercise. Plus, you probably want to work with professionals who are knowledgeable and happy to see you.

Fortunately, you can go to fitness, community and recreation centers that feature appropriate programs and equipment for the older crowd. Finding them has now become easier with the Age-Friendly Facilities and Services Locator.

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Exercising After 50: Never Too Late to Start

Source: Cleveland Clinic

Source: Cleveland Clinic

“Age shouldn’t keep anyone from exercising,” says Richard Kratche, MD, Medical Director for Cleveland Clinic’s Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Center. “Just look at the athletes who recently participated in the Senior Games.”

It’s true, however, that older adults who exercise may face physical challenges simply because their bodies are aging, says Dr. Kratche. For example:

  • Osteoarthritis is more common

  • Kidneys may not function as well

  • Risk of injury, such as a rotator cuff tear, increases

  • Cumulative effects of smoking and pollution dramatically increases the rate of declining lung capacity

Despite all this, you’re still better off exercising. “The challenges of an aging body are just a part of reality,” Dr. Kratche says. “But people who stay fit throughout their lives have bodies that become – and stay – more efficient.”

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How Exercise May Help the Memory Grow Stronger

Source: New York Times

Source: New York Times

Exercise may help the brain to build durable memories, through good times and bad.

Stress and adversity weaken the brain’s ability to learn and retain information, earlier research has found. But according to a remarkable new neurological study in mice, regular exercise can counteract those effects by bolstering communication between brain cells.

Memory has long been considered a biological enigma, a medley of mental ephemera that has some basis in material existence. Memories are coded into brain cells in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center. If our memories were not written into those cells, they would not be available for later, long-term recall, and every brain would be like that of Dory, the memory-challenged fish in “Finding Nemo.”

But representations of experience are extremely complex, and aspects of most memories must be spread across multiple brain cells, neuroscientists have determined.

These cells must be able to connect with one another, so that the memory, as a whole, stays intact.

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