Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise benefits people of all ages, including those over 65. Unfortunately, many seniors do not exercise as they should, which eventually has a negative effect on their health and wellbeing. On the other hand, seniors who follow a good exercise routine typically enjoy longer, happier, and healthier lives. There are many specific reasons why encouraging an elderly loved one to exercise regularly is so important.
How Regular Exercise Benefits Seniors
The aging process can be hard on the body, whether it is a lack of energy, poor balance and coordination, or the onset of arthritis. And although there is no proven way to completely stop the effects of aging from occurring, exercising regularly can certainly make them much more tolerable. With that said, here are several ways that a good exercise routine benefits seniors:
Helps Prevent Falls
One-in-three at-home seniors experience a severe fall every year, and often poor balance and coordination is a contributing factor. Most low-impact forms of exercise improve an older person’s balance and coordination, thereby reducing their likelihood to fall.
Sharpens Mental Acuity
One of the biggest fears for seniors is being diagnosed with dementia, and studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle is a significant risk factor for developing cognitive impairment. On the other hand, researchers have found that regular exercise helps sharpen a senior’s mental acuity and concentration, both of which help protect them against dementia.
Increases Bone Strength
Older adults commonly get osteoporosis and broken bones. However, weight-bearing exercises like walking or Yoga, help increase bone strength. This reduces the likelihood of developing osteoporosis and experiencing a bone fracture.
Lowers Cardiovascular Disease Risk
Exercise raises a participant’s heart rate, which helps protect them from cardiovascular disease. Studies have also found that following a good exercise routine also helps normalize a senior’s blood pressure and blood sugar, which also lowers their risk of having a stroke.
Many seniors feel stressed out, and exercise stimulates the release of “feel good” hormones known as endorphins that act as natural stress relievers. In addition to feeling happier and more satisfied, endorphins also help a senior get a better night’s sleep.
As the body ages, joint flexibility diminishes. That can make even the most simple activities, like driving a car or getting dressed, very unpleasant at times. Stretching and working out regularly improves flexibility and helps promote a more active lifestyle.
The older a person gets, the harder it is for their body to fight off illnesses like the flu or a UTI. But research shows that participating in regular exercise boosts a senior’s immune system, which helps protect their bodies against pesky microbes.
Promotes Social Interaction
Joining a local senior-focused fitness center is a great way to make new friends. Doing so can also help to ward off feelings of loneliness and depression that can result from social isolation.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), leading a sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading causes of death and disability. On the other hand, exercising regularly can increase a person’s lifespan by up to 5 years.
Healthy Exercises for Older Adults
High-impact forms of exercise like powerlifting or running, are generally not recommended for older adults. But there are several fun, lower-impact ways for them to get regular exercise, such as:
- Chair or water aerobics
- Tai Chi or Yoga
- Certain forms of dancing
- Bouncing on an exercise ball or mini-trampoline
- Working out with hand and ankle weights, or resistance bands.
Professional Caregivers Can Help Seniors With Exercise
Ensuring that an elderly loved one can get a sufficient amount of exercise can be hard when busy or live far away. When you need a hand, call Hibernian Home Care, a licensed and accreditated Home Care agency. The highly-trained Certified Home Health Aides love helping seniors exercise so they can continue aging comfortably in place. While serving as an extended family in a senior’s home, the carefully screened caregivers can also perform duties, including personal hygiene care, meal preparation, light housework, transportation, and medication reminders.
Please know that all of the reliable in-home amenities can be personalized into an affordable package when and where needed, Contact Us today to learn why Hibernian Home Care is the preferred Home Care company in Ocean and Monmouth Counties of New Jersey. A FREE Home Care assessment conducted by a Registered Nurse and Case Manager can be scheduled. Please visit the website at www.HibernianHomeCare.com or call 732-481-1148.