Why is Exercise Important for Seniors?
As we age, our bodies change, introducing different motivators for staying fit than in younger generations. Though physical fitness has health advantages at any age, physically active seniors enjoy significant health benefits. According to physicians and researchers, staying active as much as possible while not overdoing it is necessary for elderly people. When seniors exercise, it helps them live longer, healthier life. It also reduces their chances of developing conditions such as arthritis, bone damage, and loss of mobility.
Harvard Medical School has stated that seniors who frequently exercise are more likely to be independent, and not need to depend on others for help. Exercising regularly strengthens an elderly person’s ability to perform day-to-day tasks, such as cooking meals, bathing, getting dressed, and using the restroom unaided. If you hope to preserve your independence in your later years, making physical activity a part of your routine is one of the wisest decisions you could make.
Preventing and Mitigating Illness
Among the geriatric population, heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, and diabetes are prevalent illnesses that often result in death. Adopting a more active lifestyle can aid in the prevention of these problems or even mitigate unpleasant symptoms if you already have them. If you are concerned with dealing with illness in your retirement years, then exercise may be the key to avoiding an uncomfortable situation.
Improving Balance and Coordination
As we age, our balance and coordination often begin to decline. This can be a result of factors such as inner ear damage, arthritis, or nerve damage. Poor balance puts seniors at risk for falls, which can cause serious injuries such as fractures. exercise helps the elderly maintain their balance and improve their coordination.
Enhancing Mood and Sleep Quality
In addition to the physical benefits of exercise, there are also mental benefits. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, enhance mood, improve sleep quality, and increase cognitive function in seniors. With exercise, you can ward off feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as improve your overall outlook on life.
Types of Exercise for Seniors
The best exercises for seniors are those that are low-impact, easy on the joints, and can be done without putting too much stress on the body. The most obvious exercises that fit in this category are swimming and aerobic exercises. A few others include flexibility exercises, balance exercises, and strength exercises. Don’t worry about needed specialized equipment. Many of these can be done using body weight or even chair exercises.
Swimming is one of the best exercises for seniors because it is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints. It is also an excellent cardio workout. Swimming can help improve your heart health, increase your endurance, and reduce stress levels. Walking is another great exercise for seniors. It is a low-impact exercise that can be done almost anywhere. Walking, especially brisk walking if you’re up for it, is a great way to get your heart rate up and improve your cardiovascular health.
Flexibility exercises are important for seniors because they help improve their range of motion and prevent injuries. These exercises can also help reduce pain in the joints and muscles. There are several great stretches for the entire body. A few of our favorites are the standing hamstring stretch, the chest stretch, and the triceps stretch. An easy one you can try right now as you read this article is the sit and reach stretch. Simple sit towards the edge of your chair, straighten your legs in front of you with your knees slightly bent, and slowly lean forward, reaching for your toes. Don’t bounce or move too quickly. Just reach forward until you feel the stretch, hold for a few seconds, breathe, and come back up. You can do this a few times if you like. There are several great chair exercises for older adults.
Balance exercises are important for seniors because they help improve their balance and coordination, which can prevent falls. One of the best exercises you can do for balance is the single-leg stand. To do this exercise, simply stand on the right or left leg with your arms at your sides and hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If you need help, you can hold on to a chair or another object for support. Another great exercise is the heel-to-toe walk. To do this exercise, simply place your heel in front of your toes and walk forward. It is important to keep your heels and toes in contact with the ground at all times.
Strength is important for seniors because they help improve bone density and muscle mass. They can also help reduce the risk of falls. There are several great exercises for seniors. A few of our favorites are the following exercises: the wall sit, the chair stand, the bicep curl, and the overhead press. It’s important to work on your core as well. For this, you could try bicycles and seated twists. These exercises will work out the major muscle groups in your body. It is recommended that you conduct strength exercises with a partner or professional trainer. Many living communities, both independent and assisted have on-site fitness studios and trainers.
Exercise is extremely important for seniors. It has many benefits that can help improve their quality of life. There are several great exercises for seniors that are low-impact and easy on the joints. These exercises include swimming, walking, flexibility exercises, balance exercises, and strength exercises. Since exercising correctly is imperative to results and health, it is recommended that you find a workout buddy, coach, or join a class. Many independent and assisted living communities do have resources and classes that help you. If you need help finding the right community that will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, don’t hesitate to reach out to We Care Senior Solutions. We specialize in helping Seniors find the right place to call home.