I constantly worry about exercise, and I have observed first hand how much and how fast change occurs when an individual stops exercising.
One of our family members moved to our area to be closer to us. At her old home, even at age 90, she probably walked more than a mile a day. She walked an average person’s speed with solid steps. When she moved here, despite exercise programs and walking groups, she stopped walking all together, though we encouraged her and lots of people at her current home encouraged her as well. It was interesting that within a month, she started to shuffle, and it has become worse and worse. Since she was not depressed and had friends, we felt we could not insist, however, in the past year she has lost most of her mobility. A great site on seniors and exercise is at MedLine Plus. It’s practically a portal, leading to all sorts of other places with information about exercise and aging.