Older Adult Exercise vs. Medications: What’s More Effective in Combating Common Health Issues?

happy senior man exercising playing tennis

An older adult exercise program can be an effective way to manage common health conditions.

If you made a resolution back in January to exercise more this year, hopefully you are continuing to stick with it! As it turns out, adding more physical activity to your everyday routine is one resolution we should all be working on. For older adults, many of whom take multiple medications for a variety of health conditions, this is especially true.

Research studies are showing that, surprisingly, physician-approved older adult exercise programs can be as effective as typically-prescribed medications in preventing or treating many of the leading causes of death. In one study, researchers compared the effectiveness of exercise routines vs. various medications. The results consistently indicated that both medications and exercise shared nearly the same outcomes in reducing deaths in those who had previously been identified as having several common and serious health issues, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

For example, the study revealed that those with heart disease who exercised but did not use commonly-prescribed medications, such as angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors, statins, or antiplatelet drugs, had a similar risk of dying from — or surviving — heart disease as individuals who were taking those medications.

Scientists also highlighted how infrequently physicians “prescribe” exercise as a successful medical intervention. Huseyin Naci, a graduate student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, along with Dr. John Ioannidis, director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center in the Stanford University School of Medicine, worked together on the study, determining that, according to Naci, “We are not suggesting that anyone stop taking their medications. But maybe people could think long and hard about their lifestyles and talk to their doctors about whether exercise could and should be incorporated into their care.”

At Hillendale Home Care, we love helping older adults remain as active as possible, while achieving the best possible quality of life. As the most trusted providers of senior home care in Pleasanton and the surrounding communities, we proudly offer transportation and accompaniment to exercise classes and companionship to encourage, motivate, and make exercise time fun. In addition, we offer many other home care services that are specifically customized to meet each person’s individual health and wellness goals.

Reach out to us at 925-933-8181 to learn more about how we can help improve the overall health and wellbeing for a senior you love! Whether the need is for just a couple of hours of help each week, full-time, 24-hour care, or anything in between, a perfectly matched caregiver in Pleasanton or the surrounding areas can provide the right level of care to help an older adult you love thrive in the comfort of home. To learn about all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.