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Optimizing physical activity across the lifespan 

Optimizing physical activity across the lifespan
Optimizing physical activity across the lifespan

Stephen D. Anton

, Duane B. Corbett

, and Todd M. Manini


July 29, 2020: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.

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date: 21 May 2022

Regular engagement in exercise has been found to improve multiple aspects of physical and psychological health, yet the majority of adults do not exercise at levels recommended by current guidelines. Although physical exercise is the only intervention consistently demonstrated to attenuate functional decline among seniors, an even smaller percentage of older adults engage in regular physical activity. Regular engagement in physical activity across the lifespan is strongly encouraged, as adoption of physical activity at an early age has the potential to modify the trajectory of physical decline. In this chapter, we review the various factors that can affect long-term adherence to engagement in regular physical activity, as well as considerations for special clinical populations. Regardless of programme type, most individuals will need assistance in changing their lifestyle. Healthcare providers can play an important role in promoting healthy levels of physical activity through the use of empirically supported behavioural skills.

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