Narrator: This is Science Today. Getting old, doesn't necessarily mean getting frail. Health and Aging expert Anita Stewart of the University of California, San Francisco says the majority of the elderly population's frailty is due to a lack of exercise.
Stewart: The most important thing now is to start developing programs to make older people aware of the value and importance of physical activity and exercise and maintaining fitness in a multi-dimensional sense..strength, endurance, flexibility, so that their line of decline is set out later, so they are not frail until they're much, much older.
Narrator: While Stewart admits most older adults, particularly women, were not raised in the fitness-crazed environment of today, the benefits of exercise are hard to ignore.
Stewart: There is some research that suggests that by maintaining fitness, you can offset the point of disability by almost twenty years, so that's a pretty big incentive.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.