Immobility Accelerates the Aging Process, New Study Proves

In a recent medical study on the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, researchers found that participants who exercised 30 minutes each day had bodies that were 10 years younger than their less active counterparts.  Exercise and other forms of physical activity not only decrease the risk of age-related illnesses and early death, but also slow the rate at which the body ages, according to the study.  A less active or sedentary lifestyle, in contrast, increases the risk of age-related illness and premature death and accelerates the aging process.   Researchers say biological proof of the positive effects of exercise and an active lifestyle were found at the level of DNA and chromosomes.  Read more about the research.

This study is proof that exercise and physical activity are critical to good health.  The same holds true for those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  Exercise, physical activity, and mobility, whether from walking, active physical therapy, passive range of motion therapy, or simply being turned and repositioned in bed every two hours, slows the effects of aging.  For nursing home and assisted living patients, mobility improves bone growth and slows the effects of osteoporosis, improves heart and lung function, reduces the risk of developing pressure ulcers (bed sores, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers), and minimizes the risk of falling from being deconditioned.  It should go without saying, therefore, that exercise, physical activity, and mobility also increase the body's ability to resist the physical and emotional effects of neglect and abuse in these types of facilities.         

The lessons to be learned from this valuable research?  If you're not yet a patient of a nursing home or assisted living facility, exercise and stay as active and mobile as possible.  If your loved one is a patient in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, ensure they exercise and stay as active and mobile as possible  Our lives and theirs depend on it!
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Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.         

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