Exercise: Powerful Medicine for Health and Aging

Imagine a pill that reduced the risk and improved prognosis for all known chronic diseases; it would work regardless of current risk, race, gender, or age. We don't need to test this pill as a large body of data shows its effectiveness. Other beneficial side effects of this pill include reduced anxiety, depression, and improved sleep. Such a pill would be the world's most widely prescribed medication. Sadly, there is no such pill. However, all these benefits come with greater participation in physical activity and exercise.

In this webinar recording, renowned kinesiology researcher Dr. Stuart Phillips, shares how much (or how little) people have to do to improve their odds of living longer, healthier and better lives. 

Learn the answers to the following questions:

  • 0:00 What do you want your last 10 years of life to look like?
  • 6:24 What is active or successful aging?
  • 11:43 What are the Canadian 24-hour Movement Guidelines, and why do they matter?
  • 24:25 What about strength training?
  • 35:10 What should you do to age well?
  • 42:05 Is there such a thing as too much exercise?
  • 44:50 What is the role of stretching and balance exercises?
  • 47:15 What about getting 10,000 steps per day?
  • 49:11 Is it ever too late to start exercising again?
  • 50:30 Can age-related muscle loss be reversed?
  • 52:01 Does the type of exercise you do make a difference?
  • 54:50 What are the recommendations for those with specific health conditions or mobility issues?

Download this list of helpful resources related to exercise and aging.

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DISCLAIMER: These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (info@mcmasteroptimalaging.org).

Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of new and old blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with changing public health recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website.