I bet you know an older gal or two that have fractured a hip or ankle. According to research, older women looking to improve gait and avoid hip fractures may need only 20 minutes of daily home exercise.
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine followed 160 women with osteopenia for 7 years.
At the beginning of the study, the women were aged 70-73 (take note. If you are in your 40's, 50's or 60's you will one day be 70). One group exercised daily for 20 minutes at home and participated in 6 months of supervised weekly training each year for 5 years.
No info was avaialble about the type of exercise performed. Compared with the nonexercise group, the exercise group walked more quickly and showed greater signs of strength and stability!
They also showed a 32% drop in fracture risk. (This is HUGE ladies.) At the end of 7 years, 100 women (55 exercisers, 45 nonexercisers) these folks were reassessed.
Among the women in the study, those who engaged in moderate physical activity throughout their lives were 78% less likely to have experienced a fracture. And yet BOTH exercise and nonexercise groups showed similar decrease in bone mineral density over time (and expected aging response).
What can we glean from this study? That some moderate Home Based Exercise, done consistently seems to have a long term effect on BALANCE and gait and may even protect high risk women from bone fractures.
Not doing any in-home exercise? Maybe it's time to start!