A study of nearly 200 frail seniors finds those who performed simple at home exercises with a physical therapist regained strength and became more independent. Specifically, there was a 45% reduction in disability among the exercise group after seven months. They were also less likely to be admitted to a nursing home and had fewer injuries from falls than the control group who did not work out.
Researchers say their findings show something as simple as a home exercise program is an effective and inexpensive way to help seniors stay independent and cut down on nursing home and health care costs. The exercise routine in the study included balance exercises that lasted 10 to 15 minutes and muscle training with elastic bands a few times a week.
The study was conducted at Yale and is published in the October 3rd issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was funded by the National Institute on aging through the Yale Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center.
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