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Strengthening before age 50 beneficial.

Physical declines often begin earlier than people may think, suggesting that strength and endurance maintenance should begin before age 50, according to a study published in June in Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

Researchers studied a group of 775 people enrolled in a longitudinal study based at Duke Medicine. All the participants, who ranged in age from their 30s to 100s, were asked to perform the same tasks to demonstrate strength, endurance or balance, such as standing on one leg for a minute or walking for six minutes. Researchers found that regardless of gender and other demographic factors, declines in physical ability began to appear in people's 50s. Additional declines in aerobic endurance and walking speed were observed in people's 60s and 70s.

"Our research reinforces a life span approach to maintaining physical ability --don't wait until you are 80 years old and cannot get out of a chair," said study co-author Katherine Hall, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine at Duke, in a news release. "People often misinterpret 'aging' to mean 'aged,' and that issues of functional independence aren't important until later in life ... The good news is, with proper attention and effort, the ability to function independently can often be preserved with regular exercise."

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Title Annotation:HEALTH FINDINGS: The latest public health studies and research
Author:Krisberg, Kim
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Oct 1, 2016
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