Physical Activity and Exercise in Older Adults

Louis Bherer

in The Oxford Handbook of Exercise Psychology

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195394313
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Physical Activity and Exercise in Older Adults

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  • Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology



In today's societies, the proportions of older and very old individuals have grown considerably. However, this positive evolution brings with it certain drawbacks. For example, aging is accompanied by physiological changes that may affect health, cognitive functioning, and psychological well-being. In recent decades, an increasing number of studies have suggested that people should adopt physical activity and exercise as part of their lifestyle to alleviate the negative impact of aging on the body and mind. This chapter presents evidence that physical activity and exercise can play a positive role in improving psychological health and cognitive functioning by enhancing brain integrity in healthy older adults and in geriatric patients suffering from chronic diseases, geriatric syndromes, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia.

Keywords: physical activity; exercise; aging; chronic diseases; psychological well-being; cognition; dementia

Article.  20575 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Health Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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