It is a well-known fact that regular exercise can reduce the severity of system disorders (Hill, Storandt, & Malley, 1993). Oxygen consumption, ventilation capacity, cardiac output, blood flow, muscle tonus, muscle strength, and the flexibility of the joints can all be increased by exercises such as walking, swimming, calisthenics, jogging, and other moderate aerobic exercises (Blumentahl et al., 1991). Exercise also results in reduced body fats, poisons, blood pressure, the response times of body cells and organs, and nervous tension. Regular physical exercise also enhances one's sense of well-being, feelings of self-efficacy and control, the ability to cope with psychologically stressful situations, and general psychological health (King, Taylor, Haskell, & DeBusk, 1989). It can also have beneficial effects on depression,
Sleeps 6 hours or more
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Percentage of Age Group
Figure 3-6 Personal health characteristics of adult Americans. (Based on published data from National Health Interview Survey.)
anxiety, and other symptoms of psychological disorder (McNeil, LeBlanc, & Joyner, 1991; Petruzello, Landers, Hatfield, Kubitz, & Salazar, 1991).
Older adults do not exercise as much as younger adults, particularly strenuous aerobic exercise such as jogging or running. The difference between older and younger adults in the amount of moderate exercise is small, but even moderate exercise drops off significantly after age 75 (see Figure 3-6).
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