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Senior exercise by the numbers

A few important numbers and trends to consider when thinking about the importance of seniors exercising more and staying active:

* By 2030, the number of people in the U.S. reaching age 65 and older will be 70 million, with those age 85 or older among the fastest growing segment of the general population.

* Only 32 percent of American senior citizens exercise on a daily basis.

* Of 39 million Americans age 65 or older, only 22 percent report engaging in regular physical activity.

* Approximately 40 percent of people between age 45 and 64 are considered sedentary (60 percent for people over age 64).

* Muscle mass decreases as we age, with many people losing 3-5 percent of their muscle mass per decade. That can increase to up to 2 percent a year after age 50, depending on the exercise and activity level of individuals.

* Various studies have showed that women age 65 and older participating in an exercise regiment showed a significant increase in bone mineral and density and a 66 percent reduction in the rate of falls.

(Source: American College of Sports Medicine, National Center for Health Statistics, AARP, StrongerSeniors.com)

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