Exercise matters at all ages, especially as we get older. The benefits of exercise for seniors are extensive, and the best exercises for seniors focus on strength, aerobic exercise and flexibility.
Despite the advantages of living a fit life, 75% of senior adults fail to exercise enough to reap the benefits. Getting into a routine is half the battle; developing exercise as a habit is the other challenge. The good news is that even something as simple as walking with a friend qualifies as healthy exercise. Let’s take a closer look at more good reasons to fit exercise into your daily routine.
Our minds and bodies are truly tied together. Not only do we feel more confident when we exercise, but the release of endorphins results in an overall happier mood, positive outlook, and decreased perception of pain.
Exercise can lead to less cognitive decline and may help slow the progression of diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's. When we get moving, we increase circulation and blood flow. Studies show exercise can help prevent dementia by 30 percent and Alzheimer’s even more at 45 percent.
By mid-life, falling asleep or just staying asleep can become more difficult. Exercising promotes better sleep. Multiple studies about sleep and exercise have shown consistently that those who exercise moderately enjoy better sleep.
Being active leads to overall better health. Exercise helps maintain weight, increases metabolism, and fosters a sense of well-being. Exercise can even help ease symptoms of chronic conditions like arthritis and boost your immunity. For seniors, joining a class or riding bikes with a friend also offers an opportunity to socialize and stay connected.
As we age, we lose our balance and agility. Exercises, specifically those focused on strengthening and coordination, gives us greater ability to keep our balance, bend, and stretch without falling. Sedentary lifestyles or sitting all the time leads to weak muscles and limited strength.
Tailoring an exercise routine to your own lifestyle is easy, especially with today’s technology. If you prefer to be alone, you can access videos or live stream a yoga class in your own home. If you prefer to exercise in groups, you can explore classes in your community or at the nearest Conviva Care Center. If you prefer nature, connect with local hiking or walking groups and take advantage of outdoor beauty. The best exercise for seniors is the one that fits into their preferred lifestyle.
Many hobbies like golf or gardening can enrich a senior’s life while building an active lifestyle. Health and fitness programs like SilverSneakers enable seniors access to fitness classes and guided instruction. Think about your own hobbies and their level of activity. Is there a new hobby you’d like to try? Reach out to friends and primary care teams and explore those with the added benefit of being active.