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Finding The Fountain Of Youth

Finding The Fountain Of Youth A Tufts expert says physical activity may be the key to slowing or reversing the effects of aging.

Boston [03.30.01] At the age of 71, Dorothy Barron is in training -- the great grandmother plans to compete in the shot put event during the next Massachusetts Senior Games.

She picked up the new sport after winning the silver medal in the 5K power walk during the same competition last year.

"Trying new sports has become a bit of a passion for Barron since she started weight-training and exercising at age 64 in a yearlong Tufts University study to track the benefits of exercise in the elderly," reported Yahoo's Healthscout -- an online health and nutrition news service.

Tufts' Miriam Nelson, the director of Tufts' Center for Physical Fitness, says active women like Barron may have found a "fountain of youth."

"Much of what we consider the aging process is really just a lack of physical activity," Nelson told Healthscout.

According to Nelson's research, exercise and strength training appear to play a major role in the progression of the aging process.

"Physical activity can halt, reverse or at least slow many of the factors associated with old age, including sleep problems, lack of balance, cardiovascular impairment and lack of self-confidence," she said.

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