July 17, 1981

Seniors needn't go `all out' for fitness

JAMA. 1981;246(3):202. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320030004003

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For most people over age 60, moderate exercise demanding a 50% to 60% increase in their maximum heart rate can increase their aerobic capacities to the point where they are virtually as fit as comparably aged persons who exercise far more intensively—up to 70% to 80% of their maximum heart rate.

Since such moderate exercise can add 10% to 15% to an older person's aerobic capacity, it should serve as adequate inducement to get more people over 60 into exercise programs, Dalynn T. Badenhop, assistant professor of physical education at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, told the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

Badenhop was reporting on studies done while he was a graduate student in the Laboratory of Work Physiology, Ohio State University, Columbus.

Generally there has been a lack of information bearing directly on the effect of physical exercise on longevity, but cross-sectional studies