The popular belief is that two training methods are needed to be physically fit: working with weight for muscle strength, and aerobics for cardiovascular fitness. This is untrue. One of the biggest jobs of the cardiopulmonary system (heart and lungs) is to service the muscles. If the cardiopulmonary system were a retail store, the muscular system would be its biggest customer. When your muscular system works harder, the cardiopulmonary system works harder; it's not the other way around. So, working your muscles hard will force the cardiopulmonary system to work hard. Muscular work of sufficient intensity requires the cardiopulmonary system to work hard to meet muscular demands, so one activity takes care of both muscular and cardiopulmonary fitness. And that activity is strength training. Think about it, you can't exercise the cardiopulmonary system without exercising the muscular system! So, although the fitness industry remains blind to the above facts, strength training will provide you with every exercise-related health benefit you could possibly want. Doing "cardio work" is a waste of time and physiological resources, and can actually be counterproductive.


Improving your balance makes you feel steadier on your feet and helps prevent falls. It's especially important as we get older, when the systems that help us maintain balance—our vision, our inner ear, and our leg muscles and joints—tend to break down. "The good news is that training your balance can help prevent and reverse these losses," says Wilson.

Whether you’re a beginning exerciser who needs help getting started or someone who wants to add some spice to your fitness routine, our ACE Exercise Library offers a variety of movements to choose from. Browse through total-body exercises or movements that target more specific areas of the body. Each comes with a detailed description and photos to help ensure proper form.


Selection bias may limit generalizability to other populations of older adults since the included participants in the Generation 100 study were healthier, more educated and more physically active than nonparticipants [19]. However, our study population was diverse and included both healthy as well as older adults with comorbidities, and both inactive and very active older adults were included. The findings in the present study are based on a very large data material, and represent the most comprehensive data material on exercise patterns among older adults to date.

Want to target the upper back without a reformer? Lie face down on a mat with your feet together. Raise your head and chest slightly, and extend your arms perpendicular to your body, palms down. Exhale and sweep the arms back as you lift your chin and chest higher. Keep your waist on the mat and use your upper back muscles to bring your arms closer to your body. Return to starting position. Do five reps.
Start in a low lunge position with right foot forward, left foot back, and fingertips touching the ground for balance. In one smooth movement, bring left foot forward and, as you stand on right foot, continue to lift left knee toward chest and hop up on right foot. Land lightly on right foot and immediately slide left foot behind you to return to starting position. Repeat for half the time then switch to the other side.

Limitation of the Study. One potential limit of the present study undoubtedly regards the limited number of subjects involved in the study and the operating loss of the control group. Unfortunately, too many participants of the latter did not satisfy the requirements during the study, thus impeding a comparative statistical approach. Further studies are therefore needed to confirm our conclusions, in particular with a larger sample and control group.

It is well known that exercise in the older population may prevent several diseases [1–4]. Reduced physical activity impairs the quality of life in elderly people with Alzheimer's Disease [4], Parkinson's Disease [5], and Depressive Disorders [6]. Moreover, musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, and cerebrovascular decline are associated with poor physical fitness because of the cumulative effects of illness, multiple drug intake, fatigue, and bed rest [7, 8]. The effects of physical activity and exercise programs on fitness and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in elderly adults have been widely studied by several authors [9–11]. De Vries et al. [11] conducted a meta-analysis focusing on elderly patients with mobility problems and/or multimorbidity. Eighteen articles describing a wide variety of actions were analyzed. Most used a multicomponent training program focusing on the combination of strength, balance, and endurance training. In 9 of the 18 studies included, interventions were supervised by a physical therapist. Intensity of the intervention was not reported and the duration of the intervention varied from 5 weeks to 18 months. This meta-analysis concluded that, considering quality of life, the exercise versus no-exercise studies found no significant effects. High-intensity exercise appears to be somewhat more effective in improving physical functioning than low-intensity exercise. These positive effects are of great value in the patient population but the most effective type of intervention remains unclear. Brovold et al. [7] recently examined the effects of high-intensity training versus home-based exercise programs using the Norwegian Ullevaal Model [12] on a group of over-65-year-olds after discharge from hospital. These authors based their study on the Swedish Friskis-Svettis model [13] which was designed by Johan Holmsater for patients with coronaropathy to promote their return to work and everyday activities and improve their prognoses. This model includes three intervals of high intensity and two intervals of moderate intensity, each one lasting for 5 to 10 minutes. Included in each is coordination. Exercises consist of simple aerobic dance movements and involve the use of both upper and lower extremities to challenge postural control [13]. Exercise intensity was adjusted using the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale. Moderate intensity was set between 11 and 13, and high intensity was set between 15 and 17 on the Borg Scale.
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