Physical activity and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are often associated with younger individuals, yet the importance of regular exercise becomes increasingly crucial as one ages to prevent physical impairments and health issues.
No More Procrastination: Get Moving!
There may be numerous excuses to avoid physical activity, some of which may even seem legitimate. However, it's essential to note that physical inactivity contributes to approximately 3.2 million deaths annually. Regular exercise is fundamental to promoting wellness.
Age Is Just A Number
Exercise is beneficial for all, including senior citizens. Even slight physical activity can have significant results. If you've been physically inactive, starting with 5-10 minutes of moderate activity daily can make a difference, but remember to consult your doctor first.
Activity Is Necessary Regardless Of Age
Feeling the need to rest is more associated with a sedentary lifestyle than age. Engaging in physical activity can improve the quality of life for seniors suffering from severe health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
Take Care of Your Heart
Staying active as you age reduces the risk of heart diseases and strokes. Consult with your doctor or physical therapist to understand what exercises best suit you, how long you should perform them, and how to include around 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, like brisk walking or an easy bike ride, into your week.
Flexibility and Mobility
Flexibility exercises, along with those that improve endurance, strength, and balance, are key categories of exercises for older adults. Stretching exercises targeting various body parts can help overcome stiffness. Yoga can also be beneficial.
For a safe start, especially if you've been inactive or have health conditions, consult your doctor to understand your capacity and needs. Start with low-intensity exercises and gradually increase intensity. If any exercise causes pain, immediately discontinue it.
Recent studies reveal that certain exercises, like stationary cycling, can slow down cellular aging. Therefore, regardless of age, inactivity, or fitness level, you can always enjoy the benefits of exercising.
Find Your Exercise
Physical activity doesn't only mean lifting weights at the gym or running. Find enjoyable activities to motivate you to stay active regularly. This could be gardening, walking with friends, or cycling. Make sure to vary your activities to prevent boredom.
Exercise With Company
Working out with a partner or group can provide motivation and support. If you prefer company while exercising, find a group in your community or seek help from your doctor to find one.
Make Time For Health
Busy schedules often become an excuse to skip exercising. However, considering the plethora of benefits associated with regular physical activity and the relatively modest time commitment (150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity), it's clear that to maintain health, one must find the time.
Exercise benefits not only your heart but also your lungs, muscles, circulatory system, and internal organs. It can lower blood pressure, improve bone and joint health, and reduce the risk of diseases like colon cancer and diabetes.
Physical activity, particularly balance exercises, can help prevent falls, a common concern among older adults. A physical therapist can assist with balance and stability exercises.
Exercise for a Healthy Mind
Exercise also contributes to mental health. It can help prevent mental health issues like depression and anxiety and enhance productivity by enabling you to better manage tasks. Regular exercise can reduce body fat, increase muscle strength, quality, and mobility, and improve various organ functions. Along with a proper diet and hormonal replacements if necessary, exercise can significantly reduce health costs associated with aging by preventing falls, strokes, heart attacks, and chronic diseases.