As we age, engaging in regular physical activity is one of the best investments you can make to achieve optimal health. Working out regularly can help prevent or delay many of the health problems that come with age.
While it is completely normal to lose some of the stamina and agility we have in our younger years, getting older does not mean living a sedentary lifestyle.
Physical Activity is Essential to Healthy Aging
Physical exercise is one of the most important activities to maintain strength, agility, and independence in older people. Despite this fact, becoming more inactive with age is one of the realities that elders engage in.
Maintaining a routine of physical activities can be challenging as you get older. There are health problems, frequent aches and pains, or concerns about injuries and falls.
There is also the fear of not living up to the standards when you were younger or not knowing where to begin. Some may also think working out is boring and a waste of time.
While they are good reasons to slow down and take it easy as you age, there are far better reasons to get moving.
Engaging in physical activity can help boost your mood, relieve stress, and better manage symptoms of pain and other illness. Regular exercises can improve your overall sense of week-being, regardless of age.
6 Benefits of Physical Activity in Seniors
Here are some concrete benefits of staying fit and healthy in the elderly.
Maintain or lose weight
It is a fact that the metabolism naturally slows down with old age, making it challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
Regular exercise helps increase metabolism, build muscle mass, and facilitate a faster calorie-burning process.
Reduce the impact of chronic disease and illness
Studies show that seniors who participate in physical activities tend to have improved immune systems and digestive functioning. They also have strong immunity against heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, bone density, and diabetes.
Better cardiovascular health
Enhance mobility, flexibility, and balance.
Working out can help improve your strength, flexibility, and balance. As a result, you will have better mind-body coordination, which reduces the risk of falls.
Doing some moderate strength training can also alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions, such as arthritis or swelling of the joints.
Improve the quality of sleep
Regular activities during the day can help you fall asleep faster and longer, which is vital for your overall health as you get older. Get quality sleep and wake up feeling more energetic and avoid sleep deprivation.
Improved brain function
Increased blood flow from exercising is essential as it feeds the brain. Working out induces good blood flow to supply all the nutrients necessary to carry out the brain job.
Exercising also increases the production of molecules important to brain function, including memory.
How often should I exercise?
The recommended hours for seniors 65 (or older) is at least two and a half hours of moderate aerobic exercise every week.
An alternate option is to engage in one and half hours of vigorous exercise such as jogging every weak. Strength training is also recommended at least two times a week. Work on balance and flexibility when doing these exercises.
Adding more movement and activity can help you gain health benefits, even in small ways.
Regardless of age or physical condition, it is never too late to get the body moving. Remember that exercise can help boost your overall health and outlook and improve how well you age.
Most adults over the age of 60 can engage in physical activity, even those with chronic conditions and mobility challenges.
Before starting any workout, it is best to consult a doctor to learn which options are safe and right for your health. Once you determine the recommended activity level, you will be ready to experience the immense benefits of exercise.
Learn more about senior safety and other health tips in a first aid course. Book a course today.