Medical and health experts everywhere will always stress the importance of exercising for seniors. As we age, we become more prone to health risks and medical conditions. Exercising regularly will greatly reduce the related risks as well as improve the overall well-being of the person, helping them to live independently and prevent accidents, such as falls.
While medical alert systems can allow seniors to get help quickly whenever emergency situations develoop, it is equally important to take steps to stay healthy. By remaining healthy and strong, an elderly person will be able to enjoy a free and easy independent lifestyle. Readers can find lots of reviews on the best medical alert systems and senior fall prevention products out there. However, we believe the best assets that seniors have when it comes to independent living is their healthy bodies and minds.
According to the US National Institute of Health, the elderly should engage in different types of activities that encourage these four things: endurance (via aerobic activities), muscle strength, balance and flexibility. Here are the main advantages of working out for seniors:
Better Immune Function
A stronger and healthier body can effectively fight off infection and diseases before these transform into more serious cases. Studies showed that seniors who exercise regularly are less prone to developing minor infections and are less likely to acquire life-threatening and debilitating diseases compared to those who do not exercise.
Stronger Bones And Joints
Strength and flexibility exercises improve bone density and joint condition. As a result, seniors can tolerate more activities or even play sports despite their age. According to research, women lose as much as two percent of bone mass every year after menopause, which can contribute to osteoporosis and fractures. Exercising will help prevent bone loss and deterioration, thereby preventing the risk for falls and related accidents.
Improved Cardiovascular Function
When seniors do cardiovascular exercise at least three times each week, they improve the way their heart functions and boosts blood circulation throughout the body. As a result, they prevent problems like hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. They also have better focus and alertness compared to sedentary individuals.
Preventing Major Conditions
Exercising should focus on strength training, aerobic conditioning, balance and flexibility. When these areas are addressed, elderly people can tolerate activities better and different body systems function better, thereby preventing the development of serious illnesses like Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer and heart conditions. The senior is able to cope better with everyday tasks and the demands made upon their bodies, allowing them to shift easily from one activity to another with more ease.
More than one-third of seniors 65 years old and above suffer from falls every year, according to the Center for Disease Control. Staying in shape by strengthening the leg muscles, improving balance and keeping the knees and feet in good condition will lower the risk for falls. With good balance and flexibility, seniors can safely climb the stairs or stay standing without any discomfort or pain. Exercises should train seniors to continue performing regular household tasks without difficulty.
Healthy Body, Healthy Spirit
When seniors lack exercise, muscle deterioration and weakness become inevitable. As a result, they become prone to several risks and can also acquire serious ailments. An idle body results not just in a weaker body, but also a weaker mind and spirit, with possibilities of increased depression. To stay positive about aging, to increase the general mood, it is best to get involved in a workout program that addresses both general and specific physical needs. When these are addressed, a senior becomes better and more happily equipped to function.
Exercising is not just reserved for healthy seniors either. Watch how this 90-year old gentleman with Parkinson’s keeps fit.
Before You or Your Loved Ones Start Exercising
Anyone who has not exercised for some time, or for anyone with any health issues, please consult with your doctor or a healthcare professional before starting on any new exercise and physical activity. Exercising is important, but do plan for regular medical check-ups to ensure that you or your parents are able to physically cope with the exercise activities.