As we get older, the goal of living a long, healthy, and independent life becomes more apparent. There are tons of benefits of exercise for seniors. We want to show you why seniors need to exercise in order to live their best life.
Exercise is very important for people in all walks of life, especially so to older adults. The benefits of exercise for seniors include delaying the development of many age-related problems, as well as promoting independence, improving range of movement and quality of life.
There is a relationship between the amount of exercise done and the accumulated benefits. Which is why a higher level of exercise causes you to reap more of the benefits. However, it’s not practical for most seniors to perform long, strenuous exercises. Additionally, a lot of people quit exercising when they grow older.
Why Seniors Need to Exercise
It’s important to encourage your elderly loved one to stay active because the sooner they adopt the habit of exercising, the more they benefit from it. Regular exercise for seniors decreases the risk of the following diseases that are rampant in older adults:
Exercising makes the bones strong, preventing a loss of bone mass and reducing the risk of osteoporosis, falls, and broken bones. Post-menopausal women and older men can lose up to 2% bone mass per year. And according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, around 54 million Americans are at risk of bone breakage. Strength training produces benefits of exercise for seniors that can help prevent osteoporosis. At A Paradise for Parents Assisted Living, strength training is one of the most important part of our personal trainer’s philosophy.
Metabolic Dysfunction (Type II Diabetes and Obesity)
Type 2 diabetes and obesity often go hand in hand. These diseases cause the body to be in metabolic dysfunction. The good news is that regular exercise greatly helps in regulating the blood glucose and insulin level. It can also reduce and/or maintain a healthy body weight. Diabetics are a group who will see dramatic benefits of exercise for seniors.
Regular exercise plays a crucial role in managing arthritis. Physical activity lubricates the joints, and therefore reducing the pain and stiffness people usually feel when they have arthritis. Additionally, regular exercise for seniors combats obesity, which is a major risk factor for arthritis. Therefore, increasing your loved one’s physical ability can definitely help to better manage the symptoms of the disease.
There is a huge chance that your loved one suffers from insomnia since certain medications and life events may prevent them from sleeping. Physical exercise for seniors that meets the daily activity recommendation usually exhausts the body enough, causing them to get a restful and peaceful sleep afterward. However, it’s best to avoid laborious exercising two hours before bedtime to reap the benefits.
As of 2017, heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in the United States, responsible for almost one out of four fatalities, and it is also one of the main causes worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has observed that about 610,000 people die of heart disease each year. Exercise for seniors helps control blood pressure and glucose, as well as decreasing the bad cholesterol in the body. Therefore, it also helps in preventing and reducing heart disease in many individuals.
Dementia is a debilitating disease that affects a lot of seniors over the age of 50. It’s very important to know you can prevent this from happening to your elderly loved one. One way to do that is through exercise for seniors. Exercise is proven to help delay the onset of the disease. Studies show that older adults who regularly perform moderate-intensity workouts showed a 66% reduced risk of developing dementia. Dementia is one of the biggest reasons why seniors need to exercise.
Exercising reduces the overall risk of developing different types of cancer. Studies have proved that regular, moderate exercise lowered the risk of breast cancer by up to 30% to 40% in women.
Exercise for seniors releases happy hormones, like dopamine which can improve overall mood. Another study has shown that older adults who exercise in groups are around 30% less likely to show symptoms of depression. This modest improvement in depressive symptoms paves a way for these seniors to maintain or develop a vitality in life. Additionally, it also helps in alleviating negative thoughts or feelings that are common among the elderly.
Quality of Life
Most seniors, if not all, want to maintain a functional independence as long as possible. Through regular exercise consisting of strength and balance training, they’ll be able to accomplish this goal. Have your elderly loved one exercise for at least 30 minutes every day and perform strength exercises at least two nonconsecutive days every week.
Exercises with moderate intensity aid in lowering the systolic blood pressure significantly. To maximize the benefits, have your elderly loved one break up his/her regular exercise routine into three parts for at least 10 minutes each.
Overall, exercise for seniors delays death from all causes. That’s about the best reason why seniors need to exercise. When a person exercises at an intensity that is greater than 4 METS, studies show that the risk of all-cause mortality has been reduced to 30% to 80%. Therefore, exercising is proven to prevent premature death from different causes.
Amount of Exercise Recommended
The latest government recommendation for exercise follows the American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association. Seniors have to do a moderate-intensity aerobic workout for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. Or your loved one can also do a vigorous-intensity aerobic workout such as running, for at least 20 minutes, three times per week. As for the majority of older people, the most beneficial and recommended exercises would be walking.
Even though regular physical activity benefits seniors, over 90% of the elderly do not exercise enough. The benefits of exercise for seniors are often underrated.
At a Paradise for Parents, we know that it is very important to stay physically fit and healthy especially in our golden years. We encourage our senior residents to get fit and active by having a personal trainer who works closely with residents in all of our assisted living homes in order to ensure that their physical capabilities are accommodated.
If you want to know more about assisted living facilities, A Paradise for Parents staff and our resources can answer all your questions. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (623) 295-9890 or email us at Hal@aparadiseforparents.com to know more about the services we offer. You can also fill out an online form located on our homepage. We’d be happy to assist you in your search for an assisted living facility for your loved one.