One out of every seven Americans is an older adult, according to the 2018 study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Over 52.4 million individuals ages 65 and older in the country, representing 16 percent of the population.
Exercising is important to maintain health and well-being, whatever your age.
It is no secret that as we age, our bodies become more prone to sickness and other health concerns. Nonetheless, with good exercise, a balanced diet, and overall healthy living, we can prevent, if not somehow reduce, the signs of aging.
Although there might be worries about the physical activities engaged to by seniors, the health benefits outweigh any risks involved. Even those seniors engaged in scoliosis treatment for adults follow some workout routines.
While intense workouts may not be on the table anymore for senior citizens, moderate exercises help them maintain their health and wellbeing.
In fact, there are various reasons why leading a healthy and active lifestyle for seniors is crucial.
Improves Overall Health
On a bigger picture, seniors’ overall quality of health is higher if they engage in exercise programs. People who exercise regularly have a lesser chance of contracting chronic illnesses and diseases.
They have a more improved immune system. Not to mention, the digestive functions of physically active older adults are healthier compared to those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Manage Body Weight
Leading an active lifestyle is the key to maintaining or losing weight. That applies to everyone, even older adults.
As we age, our metabolism naturally declines. Considering this fact, it is more important to engage in more physical exercises as we age. Cardio and strength training helps build muscle mass. This, in turn, helps boost metabolism, meaning more calories are burned by the body leading to healthy weight loss.
Boost Bone Health and Strength
Older adults who regularly engage in physical activities have healthier and stronger bones. In the same way that exercising helps strengthen muscles, it also helps bones become stronger.
Since our bones are living tissues, it also responds to any force applied upon it. As you regularly exercise, your bones build more cells and become denser.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Constantly engaging in physical activity minimizes the risk of contracting any heart diseases and other cardiovascular problems.
By combining cardio workouts and strength training, you convert those visceral fats into energy. Visceral fats are the type of fat found in your body that wraps itself around your organs, including the heart.
As you burn away those fats, you help improve your overall cardiovascular health. Although underlying heart conditions and hereditary diseases might still exist, regular exercises help keep them at bay.
Boost Mental Health
There are also mental health benefits of engaging in regular physical activities. When you exercise, your body releases happy hormones or serotonin, responsible for boosting your mood.
Physical activities greatly help reduce stress and slow down the progression of most brain disorders, including dementia.
Promotes Balance and Prevents Falls
Studies have shown that elderly adults have a higher risk of falling. Since most seniors have low bone strength and density, leading an active lifestyle helps them maintain balance.
By regularly exercising, older adults gain muscle strength and improved bone density. In turn, this helps them keep their balance, preventing falls.
Foster Healthier Sleeping Habits
Individuals who lead sedentary lifestyles tend to have more trouble getting quality sleep. However, those individuals who engage in an active lifestyle do not suffer from any sleep-related problems.
Regular aerobic exercise during the day fosters deeper sleep for older adults. When you work out, you increase your core body temperature. This encourages your body to demand rest as you begin to cool down.
Engaging in low-impact exercises 2 or 3 hours before bedtime helps promote better sleep quality.
Older adults suffering from hypertension would benefit a lot from regular exercise. It is clinically proven that physical activity helps lower blood pressure. A 30-minute moderate aerobic exercise at least 4 times per week could do a lot in reducing your risk of suffering any cardiovascular problems.
Fosters Social Health
Maintaining an active social life for most seniors is a Herculean task. For one, most seniors suffer from mobility issues. Secondly, many prefer to isolate themselves, knowing that some of their friends and acquaintances have already died.
But shying away from your social life would not do you any good. Rather than sulk and waste your golden years, go out there and engage in fun group activities in the community. These include joining aerobics classes or simply engaging in group walks.
It is never too late for anyone to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. You only live one life, so why not make the most of what you have today?