Go4Life: Exercise for Better Health

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By: Mari Gold

Exercise helps us stay healthy. That’s the underlying message of Go4Life, a campaign from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health, developed to encourage older people to exercise more. The campaign focuses on four exercise categories: aerobic, strength, balance, and flexibility. “We strongly encourage people to incorporate exercises from each of these four categories into developing their own personal routine,” said Dr. Chanda Dutta, chief of the NIA’s Clinical Gerontology Branch.

Go4Life encourages older adults to become physically active for the first time, to return to exercise after a break, and to build more physical activity into their weekly routines.  The program offers exercises, motivational tips, and other resources to help people get ready, start exercising, and keep going. It also includes a buddy agreement, which a participant can sign with a friend, that sets goals and builds incentives to keep both of them going.  If one buddy slacks off, the other can help the faltering buddy stay with the program. The exercise guide is available in both English and Spanish.

Studies that have examined the role of physical activity have found that exercise is of great benefit in avoiding many diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and depression.

For more information, visit http://go4life.niapublications.org/.

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