Research has found that the best way to improve mobility is to lose weight and take gentle exercise.
Maria Castellina from Ramblers remarked: "[Walking] places very low strain on the body compared to other forms of exercise, making it suitable for almost anyone to start."
Indeed, scientists at Wake Forest University in North Carolina found that losing weight and walking more will improve mobility by as much as 20 per cent among older, obese adults who have poor cardiovascular health.
Ms Castellina added that the exercise is particularly well suited to older people because it can help to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis and improve strength and balance.
However, according to the Wake Forest study, walking or weight loss on their own are not enough and the two need to be combined for patients to see strong improvements in mobility.
The findings are contrary to the long-held belief that it can be detrimental to an older person's health to lose weight.
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Obesity treatment news : 1 February 2011