Why Exercise is Essential for Aging and Seniors

Why Exercise is Essential for Aging and Seniors

Whether you are 5 or 85, exercise is not only good for your body, but also for your mind and soul. As you get older, staying physically active can help you maintain your health, independence, and quality of life. In this blog post, we will explore some of the benefits of exercise for aging and seniors, and how you can start or continue your fitness journey.
Benefits of Exercise for Aging and Seniors
According to various sources 123 , exercise can offer many benefits for aging and seniors, such as:

  • http://www.coastcare.ca/blog/why-exercise-is-essential-for-aging-and-seniors#referencesPreventing or managing chronic diseases. Exercise can help lower your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers. Exercise can also strengthen your immune system and prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.
  • Improving your balance and stability. Exercise can help you build muscle and bone strength, which can prevent falls and injuries. Falls are a leading cause of disability and death among older adults, so improving your balance and stability can help you stay safe and independent.
  • Enhancing your mood and mental capacity. Exercise can boost your mood by releasing endorphins, the “feel good” hormones that relieve stress and depression. Exercise can also improve your cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain, preventing or delaying dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Increasing your social engagement. Exercise can be a great way to meet new people and stay connected with your friends and family. You can join a walking group, a fitness class, a gardening club, or any other activity that interests you. Being socially active can reduce loneliness and isolation, which are common problems among older adults.
  • Adding more fun and variety to your life. Exercise can be enjoyable and rewarding, especially if you find something that suits your preferences and abilities. You can try different types of exercise, such as cardio, strength training, yoga, tai chi, dancing, or swimming. You can also set goals and track your progress to keep yourself motivated and challenged.

How to Start or Continue Exercising
If you are not currently exercising, or if you want to increase your physical activity level, here are some tips to help you get started or continue:

  • Consult your doctor. Before starting any exercise program, it is important to check with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you. Your doctor can also advise you on what type of exercise is best for your condition and goals.
  • Start slowly and gradually. If you are new to exercise, or if you have been inactive for a long time, start with low-intensity activities for short durations, such as 10 minutes a day. Gradually increase the intensity, frequency, and duration of your exercise as you get more comfortable and confident.  A quick search on YouTube has a variety of exercise programs for all abilities and ages, including light stretching and chair workouts.
  • Listen to your body. Pay attention to how you feel during and after exercise. If you experience any pain, discomfort, dizziness, shortness of breath, or chest pain, stop immediately and seek medical help. Do not push yourself beyond your limits or ignore any signs of distress.
  • Choose activities that you enjoy. The best exercise for you is the one that you like and will stick with. Find something that matches your interests, personality, and lifestyle. You can also mix up different activities to keep yourself from getting bored or burned out.
  • Make it a habit and a priority. To reap the benefits of exercise, you need to do it regularly and consistently. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week3, plus some muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week3. Schedule your exercise sessions in advance and treat them as important appointments that you cannot miss.
  • Ask for help.  Coast Care Ltd. (Sunshine Coast Senior Care) has personal trainers available to get you started on an exercise program tailored to your current fitness level, abilities, and health goals.  We can work together to get you moving at your pace and keep you active, even if it’s just scheduling a time each day to come by and get you out for a light walk in the fresh air.

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself as you age. It can help you prevent or manage chronic diseases, improve your balance and stability, enhance your mood and mental capacity, increase your social engagement, and add more fun and variety to your life.
So, what are you waiting for? Start or continue exercising today and enjoy the many benefits it can bring to your health and well-being.

1Benefits of Exercise for Seniors | Franciscan Ministries 2What are the benefits of exercising for seniors? 3Physical activity tips for older adults (65 years and older) : 5 Benefits of Exercise for Seniors and Aging Adults : The Life-Changing Benefits of Exercise After 60

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