Staying active: Benefits of exercise for seniors

BHC senior exercise 0619.jpgYou don’t have to run a marathon or hit the gym five times a week to benefit from regular exercise. Moderate exercise can be an important part of helping your senior loved one stay active, healthier and happier.

Much of the loss of strength and stamina often attributed to the physical decline of aging has been shown to be a direct result of reduced physical activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by age 75, about one in three men and one in two women engage in no physical activity.

By building healthy bones, muscles, and joints, seniors can maintain the ability to live independently and reduce the risk of falling and bone fractures. Staying active has also been shown to control the joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis.

It’s good for seniors’ mental health, too. Exercise is also a stress reliever, which can help reduce high blood pressure in some people. Staying active can also help fight anxiety and depression and improve a senior’s confidence and overall sense of well-being.

Older adults can obtain these significant health benefits with a moderate amount of daily physical activity. Seniors should begin slowly then gradually increase their activity according to their comfort levels and their physician’s advice. Walking, gardening, or chair exercises while watching TV can be easy ways for seniors to get started.

In addition to cardiovascular activities such as walking, seniors can benefit from muscle-strengthening exercises as well. Stronger muscles help improve balance, which reduces the risk of falling, and also allow seniors to accomplish out the activities of daily living more easily and independently.

Seniors and their caregivers should consult with a physician before beginning any new physical activity program.

Belvedere Home Care can help encourage your senior loved one to keep up with their prescribed activities and routines and monitor their health. We want all the seniors we serve to be at their very best! Contact us for more information: (518) 694-9400.