Suggested lead: Exercise can add years to your life and life to your years, even when it’s done at home. Tom Britt has more.
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Even if you’ve been a couch potato all your life, getting out and doing something physical on a regular basis can help that life last a lot longer. Miriam Morey of Duke University Medical Center specializes in helping older people maintain or regain their flexibility and independence of movement. Morey says one of the hardest parts of the job is helping her patients continue their exercise routine once they leave a rehabilitation program and move back home.
“When you deal a lot with people coming to structured exercise programs, they sort of become dependent on the structure, so that if that structure goes away and they’re on their own they’re not prepared to exercise wherever they are.”
Morey says she tries to provide the seniors with some guidelines on what to expect and look for when they exercise at home. She assures them that it’s not really necessary to stop and check your pulse every 10 minutes, and that breaking a sweat is not something to be afraid of. I’m Tom Britt.
Morey says she follows the philosophy that any exercise is better than none at all.
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“It’s not a new method — it works. And that’s the problem: Can you get people who are not exercising to exercise? I mean, that’s the big public health issue. But I don’t think anyone in the world would argue that exercise doesn’t work.”