If you’re taking care of family or friends as they age, you might be looking for additional ways to care for and support them. Exercise is one activity you should prioritize in your senior’s life. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, but promoting light, regular exercise can benefit them greatly. Here are some reasons why staying active is so important for seniors.
Helps Prevent Disease
Regular exercise can go a long way towards preventing certain conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. Exercise helps promote stronger immune function, which is how your body fights off sickness and disease. Due to a combination of factors, including age and lifestyle, seniors can often have weakened immune systems. For this reason, exercise is especially important for seniors because it can boost their immune systems when they need it most.
Boosts Mental Health
Another benefit of staying active is that it has many mental health benefits. Exercise naturally releases endorphins, stress-relieving hormones that make you feel good after physical activity. This is true for everyone and can benefit seniors struggling with mental health issues. Additionally, exercise promotes healthy, restful sleep patterns, which can be helpful for seniors with insomnia or inconsistent sleep.
Increases Strength and Balance
Regular exercise is especially helpful for seniors because it can help strengthen muscles and improve balance. By regularly walking, lifting small weights, and performing other activities, older adults can strengthen their arms, legs, core muscles, and more, which helps prevent future injuries. They actively minimize their risk of falling and other injuries by working their muscles. Exercise can even reduce symptoms and help manage arthritis in seniors.
Recommended Fitness Activities
If you’re looking for ideal activities to start with, try simply taking your loved ones for a stroll. Walking is a terrific way to stretch and strengthen leg muscles and promote balance. Depending on their mobility, other activities for seniors include yoga, water aerobics, stretches, cycling, wall push-ups, and more. Any of these exercises are ideal for promoting physical activity as we age.
Now that you know why staying active is so important for seniors, try encouraging your older loved ones to exercise with you. Share these benefits and exercise ideas with them to inspire them to exercise regularly.
Dianne Pajo is a Certified Personal Trainer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her outdoors and performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.