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Wounds Heal 25% Faster In Older Adults Who Exercise Regularly

Here is another feather in the crown of physical exercisers. A new study in older adults finds that regular exercise may speed up the wound-healing process by as much as 25 percent//.

The faster that a wound heals, the less chance it will become infected.

The results appear in a recent issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

This is the first time such an enhancement associated with exercise is being documented, according to Charles Emery, a professor of psychology and the lead author of the Ohio State University study.

The study included 28 healthy older adults ranging in age from 55 to 77 (average age 61). The participants hadn't exercised regularly for at least six months prior to the study. For the research, about half (13) of them exercised three times a week for three months. The other 15 participants served as controls and were asked not to change their physical activity habits during the study period.

A month after they started exercising, each subject received a small puncture wound on the back of the upper arm. A month of exercise before the wound procedure gave the bodies of adults in the exercise group enough time to adapt to a regular exercise program.

The wounds were about 1/8-inch across and deep. The researchers photographed the wounds three times a week until the wounds were no longer visible (about six to seven weeks).

The exercise sessions, which began with 10 minutes of warm-up floor exercises and stretching, were followed by 30 minutes of pedaling on a stationary bike. Thereafter, participants either jogged or walked briskly on a treadmill for 15 minutes, followed by about 15 minutes of strength training. All sessions ended with five minutes of cool-down exercises.

Assessments of exercise endurance and stress were made on each participant at the beginning and end of the study. The exercise endurance test, completed on a treadmill, measured each subject'
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