Older people who hibernate during these chilly months could lose stamina, strength, and flexibility. To counteract the problem, the National Institute on Aging has released an inexpensive, at-home exercise program. Exercise with the National Institute on Aging, the 48-minute video, is based on medical research and "road-tested" by scores of older Americans.
The exercise program emphasizes:
- Endurance exercises, which increase stamina and may help delay or prevent diabetes, colon cancer, heart disease, and stroke;
- Strength exercises, which increase metabolism helping to control weight and regulate blood sugar. Studies show, they also may help prevent osteoporosis;
- Flexibility exercises, which may help prevent and aid recovery from injuries; and
- Balance exercises, which help prevent falls a major cause of broken hips and other injuries that lead to disability and loss of independence.
As added motivation, participants who stick with the program for a month will receive a certificate of recognition signed by NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. To view an online clip of the exercise video, go to http://www.maillist.org/exercise. To order the exercise book and video, mail a check or money order for $7 payable to the National Institute on Aging. Send to NIAIC, Dept. BR, P.O. Box 8057, Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8057. For more information, call 1-800/222-2225.
The NIA, part of the National Institutes of Health at the Department of Health and Human Services, leads the federal effort supporting and conducting research on aging and the special medical, social and behavioral issues of older people. A substantial part of NIA's research involves ways to prevent frailty and reduce disability with age.