Jogging May Help Seniors Walk More Efficiently

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Jogging May Help Seniors Walk More Efficiently
Jogging May Help Seniors Walk More Efficiently

(HealthDay News) -- Jogging helps seniors ward off age-related physical decline in walking efficiency, according to a study published online Nov. 20 in PLOS ONE.

Researchers looked at people older than 65 who either ran or walked for exercise. They found that those who ran at least 30 minutes three times a week were less likely to have age-related physical decline in walking than walkers. In fact, joggers were 7 to 10 percent more efficient at walking than those who didn't jog.

"What we found is that older adults who regularly participate in high-aerobic activities -- running in particular -- have what we call a lower metabolic cost of walking than older, sedentary adults. In fact, their metabolic cost of walking is similar to young adults in their 20s," Justus Ortega, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Biomechanics Lab at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., said in a university news release.

"The bottom line is that running keeps you younger, at least in terms of efficiency," study coauthor Rodger Kram, Ph.D., a professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado in Boulder, said in the news release. The researchers plan to investigate whether other highly aerobic activities -- such as cycling and swimming -- also slow age-related physical decline.

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