Exercise helps seniors stay on their feet, review finds

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A new report attests to the benefits of exercise among older adults. Elderly adults who participated in any number of exercises not only improved their balance, but also cut their risk of falling, a review of 34 studies has found.

Exercise helps people stay steady on their feet as they go through the aging process when diminished balance puts them at risk for falls, according to a report in The Cochrane Library. The report explored 34 studies of more than 2,800 participants whose average age was 75 and older, generally healthy and predominantly women.

The studies analyzed different groups of adults who participated in a variety of exercises including walking, strength and balance training, dancing and tai chi. Some of the balance exercises were as simple as rising from a chair and balancing on one leg. The review did not find that one kind of exercise outperformed any other in improving balance and reducing falls.