We have heard it often, physical activity and exercise are good for you, and you should aim to make them part of your daily routine. There are many studies that prove the important health benefits that are associated with exercise, and this becomes even more important as we age. Regular physical activity can help to improve mental and physical health, both of which will help you maintain your independence as you age.
Is it Possible For Elderly To Maintain An Exercise Program?
The American Academy of Family Physicians has indicated that almost all older people can benefit from more physical activity. The truth is that regular exercise prevents chronic disease, improves mood and lowers chances of injury.
As we age, our bodies may take a little longer to repair themselves, but balanced physical activity is good for people of all ages and ability levels. For most people, the benefits of routine exercise far outweigh the risks. There are ways for older individuals with chronic illnesses to work out safely.
Benefits Of Exercise For The Elderly
- Protection Against Chronic Conditions. Physical activity decreases the risk of developing serious conditions and can even minimize some symptoms after certain conditions have already developed. Exercise improves immune function, which is essential for seniors as their immune systems are often compromised. Even light exercise, such as walking or gardening can be a powerful tool for preventable disease management.
- Better Bone Density. Weight-bearing exercise such as walking or jogging can help boost the strength of bones and, in turn, reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures. According to The National Osteoporosis Society, one in two women and one in five men will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
- Improved Mental Health. The mental health benefits of exercise are countless. Exercise produces endorphins, which act as a stress reliever and can leave you feeling happy and satisfied. Any improvement in depressive symptoms can benefit seniors, and help to maintain better vitality later in life. In addition, exercise has been associated with improved sleep, which is especially crucial for older adults as they often suffer from insomnia and disrupted sleep patterns.
- Better Respiratory and Cardiovascular Function. Regular physical activity can lower the risk of heart disease as well as reduce blood pressure. Strong lungs and airways and a healthy heart and vascular system allow the body to function properly and more efficiently handle invaders of our health. Regular cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking, cycling or swimming can raise the heart rate and will increase blood flow to the heart and boost your overall health.
- Arthritis. Exercise is one of the most important options for arthritis management. Regular activity aids in lubricating the joints and can help reduce overall pain and stiffness that is often present among individuals with arthritis. Moreover, routine exercise can help maintain a healthy weight, which can help better manage the debilitating symptoms of arthritis that are exacerbated by extra weight on the joints.
- Quality Of Life. Maintaining functional independence is something most older adults want and need. A regular exercise protocol that includes strength and balance training can help accomplish this. Whether you are part of a walking group or attend fitness classes, exercise can be a part of a fun social event. Maintaining strong social ties is essential for seniors and by being active with friends, you can improve your overall health outlook. The key is to find a form of exercise you enjoy. A good goal is to be physically active for 30 minutes every day and to strength train at least two non-consecutive days per week.
A regular health and fitness routine is stressed across all lifespans. Activity may need to be modified to accommodate age, physical restraints, ailments, and conditions, but the elderly can truly benefit from healthy habits and physical activity.
If you are interested in learning more about health and wellness, I encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our trusted practitioners at SHIN Wellness. We offer many holistic treatments such as Decompression Therapy, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Neurofeedback, Psychology, Reiki, Nutrition, Corrective Exercises, and Massage. If you need some help figuring out what service is right for you, try our personalized consultation form. Our Wellness Center and Chiropractor office in Miami Florida specializes in restoring your health!