Can Exercise Benefit You As You Age?
Exercise is practiced for many reasons: staying healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, bodybuilding, treatment of medical conditions and many more. Physical activity is necessary for an individual’s overall health and wellness.
Importance of Exercise for All Ages
Studies have found that the more active you are, the less likely you are to develop many common diseases such as heart disease and obesity. Individuals who exercise for at least 150 minutes per week are far less susceptible to life-threatening conditions.
However, as people get older, their health deteriorates. During this time of their life, the importance of exercise should be emphasized, not discouraged. With this in mind, here are some top reasons why and how exercise is more advantageous as people age:
Enhances Cardiovascular Strength
It’s a well-known fact that physical activity is advantageous for the cardiovascular health of all types of people, but seniors actually have more to gain from it. The risk of health complications increases when people get old, as they’re generally weaker than they were when they were younger.
While it’s inevitable for your health to decrease, exercise reduces your risk of suffering from complications such as heart attacks, strokes and coronary heart disease.
Exercise helps to alleviate stress, lower blood pressure, enhance oxygen efficiency and slow the heart rate. Seniors can try low- to high-intensity workouts, depending on their capacity. They can even enjoy the health benefits of swimming, including cardiovascular support, and it’s an exciting hobby to include in one’s senior life.
Strengthens Muscles and Bones
Muscle and joint pain are prevalent health concerns among the older population. The lubricating fluid found in the joints tends to decrease as people age; the cartilage tissues responsible for both stability and flexibility also become thinner; the size and number of muscle tendons, as well as the water content inside them, drops significantly over age, causing muscles to become sensitive to stress.
People who experience muscle and joint pain due to age must exercise despite the pain, as it’ll help them to reduce it over time, enhance strength and flexibility and combat fatigue. Check out these tips on how seniors can stay active and strong.
Furthermore, since consistent exercise gives seniors better flexibility, stability and range of motion, they can prevent unwanted falls and slips, which are increasingly common at their age. Pilates and yoga are the best types of exercise for this purpose.
Maintains A Healthy Weight
Most of the time, exercise is associated with the prevention of certain diseases and other problems, such as diabetes and poor mental health. In fact, there are various reasons why you should be exercising, even if you’re not experiencing any problems or diseases whatsoever.
For example, weight gain is a problem faced by many people, which leads to different health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, strokes and heart disease. During exercise, your body generates large amounts of energy burning calories.
It also helps your muscles to become stronger and more toned, which contributes in reducing your chances of gaining weight. If you’re an aging individual, then it’s worth it to get into shape and stay healthy.
Supports Neurological Function
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease both begin with memory loss, and as these progresses, they can seriously affect your everyday life. While these conditions are a difficult battle to fight, it’s been discovered that exercise can help significantly. Older adults experiencing the symptoms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other brain-associated illnesses will benefit from exercise because of its neurological and cognitive functioning support.
Regular physical activity is an excellent addition to other neurological treatments. In a study conducted by the University of Iowa, they tested adults aged 60 to 80 with no regular physical activity to ride a stationary bike. They were divided into two groups: the first one experiencing light pedaling resistance and the second a more strenuous one.
After a brain scan, the findings illustrated bursts of activity in the participants’ brains, specifically in the region where memories are collected and shared. Afterwards, these seniors accomplished an activity associated with memory and cognition, and showed significant improvement.
Exercise is ideal for all ages, despite varying health conditions. It turns out that seniors and older adults, who might feel more restricted in their life because of their age, can also and perhaps especially reap the numerous merits of exercising discussed in this article. If you’re a senior or someone who is taking care of a senior, make sure to seek health guidance while exercising to make the get the most out of these benefits as possible.