Full of life exercise and fitness guide for older adults

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Whitehead, Thomas M.
Murk, Peter J., 1942-
Issue Date
Thesis (D. Ed.)
Center for Lifelong Education
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The purpose of this study was to: 1) review the literature as it pertained to physical fitness for older adults and 2) develop an exercise and fitness guide to be used by older adults.Much of the literature dealing with: 1) cardiorespiratory endurance, 2) flexibility, 3) muscular strength and endurance, and 4) balance and coordination, suggests that given proper training and instruction, older adults can develop and maintain these areas of physical fitness well into advanced life.Older adults can develop and maintain their cardiorespiratory system by exercising at an intensity equal to 40% of their maximal heart rate. Walking is an activity in which that most older adults can participate and show improvement.Flexibility is a precursor for all movement. All movement depends on one's ability to bend and stretch. Regularity is the key to developing flexibility. Supple muscles and joints make many tasks easier and aid in the prevention of injury.Muscular strength and endurance are needed by older adults in many of the simple movements they face daily.Muscular strength and endurance can be developed and maintained through continued participation in regular physical activity.Balance and coordinated movement are important to older adults as they perform routine tasks encountered on a daily basis.Older adults can benefit physiologically, psychologically and socially from participation in appropriate regular physical activities and exercise programs. When older adults move their bodies physically, with regularity and purpose, they achieve a life of better health and well-being.