Despite their endorsement of activity for the elderly, experts recognize that disease or disorders can make some kinds of exercise inadvisable or inappropriate except with careful monitoring. No one in the senior years should begin an exercise program without medical clearance.
Nor should old people -- or younger people either -- go out to exercise in unsafe environments.
"I don't think our society has made it easy for people to remain fit," says Dr. Andrew Goldberg, principal investigator on the Fitness after 50 program.
"If the Gilman track were everywhere, that would be fine," he says. "But running on the streets of Baltimore -- that's a place where you could be injured. Biking is a good sport, but where do you bike? Try riding on Falls Road and see how long you last. I think there's a real need for environmental changes so that people can exercise without paying $1,000 for a year's membership."