Advancing health through science, education and medicine
ACSM is fortunate to be the go-to source on sports medicine and exercise science for several national and international media outlets. You can find some of our most recent coverage below, or you can view archived articles.
Sixty years ago an American who made it to 65 could expect to live an additional 14 years. Today, it’s 19 years. The most important question then: how to grow older healthfully so that we can actually enjoy those extra years? A Consumer Reports survey of 2,066 Americans age 50 and older revealed that we’re eager to maintain our quality of life into retirement and far, far beyond.
“Whether you’re just starting to think about your golden years or are well into retirement, it turns out that most of us have pretty similar goals: remaining independent, keeping mentally sharp, and staying as mobile as possible,” said Fernando Torres-Gil, Ph.D., director of the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging.
But that kind of successful aging requires savvy planning and decision-making. Our survey found that multiple chronic illnesses, shelves full of medications, and numerous medical specialists are common for Americans older than 50, so lining up good health care and managing it smartly are important. We also discovered that mobility decreases dramatically as you age; 33 percent of those older than 80 have difficulty walking, and more than 25 percent have a tough time simply getting out of chairs, so a fitness plan that maintains strength, flexibility, and balance is vital. Our survey group told us that their current home was the top choice of where to live as they aged and needed more care. But the ability to do so is highly dependent on the home’s location and physical features. Also, maintaining an active social network for yourself and being a lifelong learner are the best ways to reduce the risk of cognitive decline, the situation that respondents feared most about old age.
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