Exercise's Effects on the Lungs

  • Highlights


    • According to the 2010 Healthy People report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 46% of people aged 65 - 74 did not engage in any leisure time physical activity in 2008, the last year for which figures were available. In people over age 75, the percentage of those not engaged in any leisure time physical activity was 56%.
    • The American Heart Association recommends that individuals do moderate exercise for at least 150 minutes per week, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise.

    Benefits of Exercising:

    • The benefits of exercise include:
      • Decreased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke
      • Decreased risk of colon and breast cancers
      • Decreased risk of diabetes
      • Decreased risk of osteoporosis and fractures
      • Decreased risk of depression and dementia (memory loss)
    • A recent review of available studies has shown that exercise benefits patients at all stages of dementia, improving balance, mobility, and the ability to perform basic activities of daily living.

    Tips for Exercising:

    • Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after a workout.
    • Warming up and cooling down are important parts of every exercise routine. They help the body make the transition from rest to activity and back again, and can help prevent soreness or injury, especially in older people.
      • Do warm-up exercises for 5 - 10 minutes at the beginning of an exercise session. Stretching exercises, gentle calisthenics, and walking are ideal.
    • Do not eat for 2 hours before vigorous exercise.
    • When exercising, listen to your body's warning symptoms


    • Think of exercise as a menu rather than a diet. Choose a number of different physical activities that are personally enjoyable such as sports, dancing, or biking.
    • Develop an interest or hobby that requires physical activity.
    • Adopt simple routines such as climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, walking instead of driving to the local newsstand, or canoeing instead of zooming along in a powerboat.
    • Try cross training (alternating between several types of exercises).
    • Exercise with friends.