Exercise for Seniors: Good for the Body and Great for the Psyche!

March 2, 2022

Most of us know that regular movement and exercise is good for us, no matter what our age. But more and more research is showing that staying physically active as a senior is especially important.

Regular exercise for seniors does more than just keep or build muscle; it can improve flexibility, balance, mood and more; even seniors who moderately exercise on a regular basis can see these improvements.

So, if there’s a senior in your life, why not encourage them to get moving — maybe even with you as their exercise partner?

Senior Workouts: Physical Activity Can Make a Big Difference

Our bodies are meant to move, and our minds are meant to be engaged. Regular exercise allows for both, with benefits that are especially important as we age. Below are just a few of them.

  • Better Body: Regular exercise has been shown to improve overall immune response, which means it can help to prevent common illnesses like colds and flus, as well as diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Even moderate walking can be an effective tool for preventing disease. Furthermore, because falls are the leading cause of injury and injury death in people aged 65 and older, it’s extremely important for older adults to stay strong and flexible. Regular exercise will allow them to do just that, lowering the risk of losing their balance and increasing their ability to maintain their independence.
  • Better Mind: Exercise is great for the psyche because it releases endorphins, chemicals that are naturally produced by the body to relieve stress and dampen pain. The net effect is an improved mood, leaving you feeling happier and more satisfied. Exercise can also mean a better night’s rest, which is great news for seniors who often suffer from insomnia or disrupted sleep.

Staying physically active can also lower your risk of a dementia diagnosis, and studies have shown it’s never too late to begin a regular routine to see this benefit.

Additionally, fitness classes and walking groups, among other opportunities to get out and move, are a chance to meet regularly with others and maintain important social ties that can ward off feelings of loneliness or depression.

Keeping it Safe, Interesting, and Fun

While it’s true that regular exercise for seniors is important, it’s equally as vital to choose the appropriate kind of exercise and to proceed carefully.

Anyone who is introducing regular exercise into their lifestyle should first consult with their doctor, to make sure there are no underlying conditions that could be exacerbated or that may keep you from enjoying the benefits.

Having said that, some good choices for seniors include yoga, for its low impaction, pilates, as it can be gentle on joints, walking, swimming, and even some strength training to build muscle and burn fat.

To find out more about the rewards of exercise as a senior, get in touch with Senior Care Authority today.

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