Exercise and the Generations
Beverly L. Roberts
Patricia A. Adler
The health effects of exercise are well-known, and increasing the exercise in persons of all ages is a major national goal described in Healthy People 2010 (United States et al., 2000). In spite of the benefits of exercise, many do not engage in regular exercise at intensities high enough to achieve beneficial effects. Models of behavior change have provided some understanding of the mechanisms leading to the incorporation of regular exercise into daily activities. Those persons who have a partner to exercise with are more likely to maintain an exercise program. However, the influence of intergenerational partners has been largely ignored. These partners may increase adherence to exercise and demonstrate the importance of it to persons of all ages. This chapter explores some of the health benefits of exercise among elderly adults. Topics include exercise prescription, the role of intergenerational exercise groups in beginning, and maintaining a regular exercise program.
With advancing age, impairments in motor tasks increased difficulty in performing daily activities (Roberts, 1999). These impairments are often the result of chronic disease, aging and a sedentary lifestyle. To a certain extent, exercise can reverse the effects of these factors but cannot take the place of appropriate management of chronic disease or irreversible age related physical changes. Research