The Benefits of Exercise for Seniors
Many seniors lose mobility as they age, which is why it is vital to keep exercising. Here is a list of why exercise for seniors should be encouraged.
Did you know that more than 50% of senior citizens spend at least 8.5 hours a day sedentary? Which is problematic because staying active is important, especially as you get older. Many senior citizens lose their mobility as they age, so exercise for seniors is essential to keep them healthy for as long as possible.
The Benefits of Exercise for Seniors
Not sure why exercise for seniors is important? In this article, were covering the ways in which exercise can greatly improve the lives of seniors. So, you can convince your loved ones to get up and get moving to improve their overall health.
Exercise Helps with Arthritis
One of the biggest benefits of exercise for seniors is arthritis management. Regular exercise lubricates your joints, which can help reduce any stiffness and pain that people with arthritis experience. On top of that, regular exercise can reduce your chances of becoming obese, which is a risk factor for arthritis.
Exercise Can Help with Heart Disease
Did you know that 1in every 4 deathsis related to heart disease? And people who dont exercise regularly are at greater risk of developing it. But by continuing to exercise later in life, you can reduce the risk of heart disease or better manage any existing heart issues.
Exercise Boosts Your Mood
Depression is an issue that plagues many people, but it can be prevalent in adults. Especially for senior citizens who may live alone or have lost loved ones. Fortunately, exercise can have a great effect on personal mood, and help address mental health issues like depression
Exercise is also linked to improved sleep, which can be great for senior citizens who suffer from insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns. This can also help alleviate any sleep-related issues brought about by medications as well.
Exercise Can Slow Down Dementia
Dementia is a major issue that affects many older adults. And while the symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, it can negatively impact the following mental functions:
- Visual perception
- Ability to focus or pay attention
- Communication and language
Its still relatively unclear how to prevent dementia. But exercise can greatly slow down the mental decline that comes with dementia. Moderate to intense exercise can help lower the risk of mental health decline and even prevent future cognitive health issues.
Exercise Helps With Flexibility
As people get older, they naturally begin to lose some of their range of motion. But exercise can help slow down this process of degeneration. And thats important because you need as much of your range of motion as possible to complete simple everyday tasks.
By exercising every day, you can keep as much of your mobility as possible, which will keep you self-sufficient for longer.
Exercise Improves Bone Health
Weight training and muscle-strengthening exercises can do wonders for bone health. In fact, they can reduce the risk of health problems like osteoporosis and osteopenia. This makes exercise great for anyone who wants to keep their bones healthy.
Exercise Increases Cardiovascular Health
Exercises like running, swimming, and resistance training can do wonders for the endurance level of seniors. Endurance-based exercises are important for seniors because they strengthen your heart and reduce blood pressure.
Senior citizens with greater cardiovascular health are less likely to run into the health risks that senior citizens who dont exercise are likely to experience. Exercise is also likely to increase energy levels, so doing it will help senior citizens stay energized and active.
Common Myths About Exercise for Seniors
If youre a senior citizen or taking care of one, youve probably worried that exercising can be dangerous or just not helpful for older people. But thats not true! Here are some common misconceptions people have about seniors exercising, and why they arent true.
Exercise Puts You at Greater Risk of Falling
One of the biggest health concerns people have for senior citizens exercising is the risk of falling. But regular exercise actually reduces that risk! Regular exercise builds your strength and stamina, which improves your overall balance. This makes you less likely to fall in general.
Senior Citizens are Too Old to Exercise
Youre never too old to start exercising! And while certain elderly people can be lacking some level of mobility, there are still exercises they can do. Swimming, aerobics, yoga, and simple walking are all great forms of exercising for elderly people.
Theres No Point in Exercising
Just because senior citizens cant do what they used to do, doesnt mean they cant benefit from exercising. As mentioned above, regular physical activity reduces your risk for a variety of conditions, including obesity, high blood pressure, and even certain types of cancers. It can also help you look and feel younger, which makes it worthwhile even if you cant work out as hard as you once could.
Great Exercises for Senior Citizens
Now that you know why exercise for seniors is important, youre probably wondering which ones are best for them. Here are some awesome exercises senior citizens can do.
Swimming is a great way for senior citizens to strengthen their muscles and improve their cardiovascular fitness. Whats better is that it puts very minimal stress on your bones and joints, which makes it a suitable option for people with osteoporosis.
From aerobic fitness to core stability, yoga offers many benefits. Its also simultaneously low- impact and weight bearing, which means youll still get muscle and bone strengthening out of it. And there are many different forms of yoga, so its easy to find a class that you enjoy that meets your physical needs.
Pilates is a great low-impact exercise for people looking to strengthen their core stability. It can also promote greater balance. Most gyms offer Pilates classes for beginners, so its easy to get involved even if you lack experience.
The next low-impact exercise on the list is cycling. This great exercise increases leg strength without being high impact like running and sports. Its also a versatile exercise as you can ride a bike around with friends or ride a stationary bike somewhere.
Do You Need Help With Daily Living?
Aging is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything you can to stay as healthy as possible! By understanding the importance of exercise for seniors, and embracing these activities, you or a loved one you know can live life to the fullest!
Do you or a loved one need assistance with mobility or completing everyday tasks? Contact us to see how we can make your life easier!