For older seniors, the need off an active lifestyle becomes more and more important. Regular exercise helps to boost energy levels, maintain a sense of independence and manage many symptoms of chronic illness or pain. Exercise has even been proven to reverse some classic symptoms of aging. Not only is exercise good for the body, it is also good for things like mind, mood, and memory. There are plenty of ways for seniors to exercise, lead a more active life and boost energy levels.
Mental and Physical Benefits of Exercise
- Exercise helps seniors to maintain or lose weight. Metabolism naturally slows down with age, making healthy weight maintenance a challenge. Exercise increases metabolism and builds muscle mass, which burns more calories.
- Exercise can reduce the effects of illness or chronic disease. Improved immune function, better blood pressure levels, better bone density and better digestion are among some of the additional benefits of exercise. Seniors who exercise also have a decreased risk of contracting several chronic medical problems such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis and colon cancer.
- Exercise improves sleep for seniors. Poor quality of sleep is not an acceptable consequence of aging. Good, quality sleep is important for overall health. Daily exercise often improves sleep, which helps seniors to fall asleep quickly and sleep deeper.
- Exercise boosts the mood and confidence of seniors. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain which are produced when seniors exercise. They help seniors to feel better and reduce feelings of sadness or depression. Leading an active life and feeling naturally healthy helps seniors to feel more self-confident and sure of themselves.
- Exercise is great for the brain. Daily exercise can benefit brain functions for seniors and helps to keep the brain active. Leading an active and healthy life can help seniors prevent memory loss, cognitive decline and signs of dementia. Studies indicate that exercise may even help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders.
Types of Exercise Appropriate for Seniors
Walking: Walking is a perfect way for seniors to begin an exercise program. Aside from a pair of good tennis shoes, walking does not require the purchase of any special equipment and can be done from anywhere.
Senior exercise classes: Senior exercise classes are a great way to keep motivation going while also providing a source of healthy fun, stress relief and a place to meet up with friends.
Water aerobics: Working out in water is wonderful exercise for most seniors. Water actually reduces the amount of stress and strain placed on the body’s joints during other types of exercise.
Yoga: When performing yoga, seniors combine each pose and stretch with deep breathing. As seniors move through the poses, they also improve strength, flexibility and balance. The wonderful thing for seniors is that yoga poses and classes can easily be adapted to any skill level, making it an ideal exercise for almost any senior.