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Yes, You Should Be Exercising and Here’s Why

By Alisa Sabin September 11, 2023 Health and Fitness

We all know we should be exercising. The benefits of exercise are immense, and it is always helpful and motivating to hear them.

An August 2022 study at the University of California San Diego found physical activity may have a stronger role than genetics in longevity. In 2012, researchers started measuring the physical activity of 5446 women in the United States over the age of 63. They were followed through 2020 to determine mortality.

The women wore an accelerometer to measure time and intensity of movement or lack thereof. The study found there was a lower risk of death with moderate to vigorous daily physical activity. When they factored genetic predisposition for longevity, it did not affect the results.

How Much Should You Exercise?

The CDC recommendation for adults 65 and older is to exercise at least 150 minutes a week of at least moderate intensity activity, such as brisk walking. It is also advised to do activities that strengthen muscles at least two days a week. Another recommendation is to engage in activities that improve balance, such as standing on one foot, at least three days a week.

Many Important Benefits of Exercise

Regular exercise often benefits your longevity along with your quality of life. Many people report improved mood and a decrease in chronic pain with consistent exercise.

Mental Health

Exercise produces endorphins that decrease depression and relieve anxiety. It helps us relax and reduces stress. People just feel better in general when they exercise.  

Physical Health

Exercise may prevent or decrease the effects of chronic illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, colon cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. It also improves balance, strength, mobility and flexibility. Studies have also shown exercise boosts immunity.

Relieves Pain

You may be thinking, “What are you talking about? I’m so sore after exercising.” Well, yes, there is that. But movement has been shown to significantly decrease overall chronic pain.

Osteoarthritis pain greatly improves with exercise. Regular activity strengthens the muscles surrounding joints and decreases stiffness and pain. Exercise decreases joint inflammation and increases joint lubrication.

There are definitely some exercises that are much more friendly to our joints than others. If you do a lot of high impact exercise, such as anything involving running or jumping, you may actually increase the progression of osteoarthritis and therefore increase overall chronic pain. Low impact exercise is more suited for relieving osteoarthritis pain. Low impact cardiovascular exercises include walking, bicycling, and swimming. Range of motion exercises and strength training are also very helpful with pain relief.

Exercise Can Be Great Fun!

Exercise improves mood and decreases pain, making life more enjoyable. And, you may have much more life to enjoy if you exercise regularly. You can make it a community thing and make friends along the way.

The best exercise routines for older adults provide a combination of resistance and strength training along with flexibility and aerobic activities. It is advised to build up slowly, advancing activity in small increments. Do listen to your body and stop any activity causing great pain or making you dizzy or lightheaded.

Always get medical clearance from your physician before starting a new exercise regimen. Once you are cleared, plan your exercise schedule and make it a habit. Then, simply enjoy the physical and mental benefits of exercise!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you exercise regularly? Have you noticed an improved mood when you exercise? Does exercise relieve your overall pain? What type of exercises do you enjoy?

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Have become a regular exerciser finally in my 60’s. Never felt better, it’s a way of life now. Aqua Fit, spinning, yoga and jogging even. My health insurance pays cost of gym membership. I find classes with others the best.


I am trying.. I’m 61 working 30 hrs pw and studying a Masters too. OK it’s 7.30am so I will try and do a brisk 30 min walk in the nearby forest. My feeling mostly is “I can’t be bothered” but I know it’s a case of “use it or lose it” so I’ll keep pushing myself. I set my own working hours which tend to be 10am to 6pm so that I have time to exercise in the morning before work. It must be easier to find the time if retired?????

The Author

Dr. Alisa Sabin is an urgent care physician at Sutter Gould Medical Foundation in Stockton, California. She is also an author of her debut novel, Still. It is a medical thriller about an organized crime ring of maternity nurses. Alisa loves working with patients and she loves to write. You can follow her on her website at

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