It’s no surprise that physicians recommend maintaining an active lifestyle as we age. Regular exercise benefits seniors and older adults by strengthening their immune system, boosting their mood, and improving their overall health.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) found that exercise reduces the risk of physical impairment in older adults due to an important connection between muscle strength and overall mobility. For older adults with lower fitness levels, the NIH recommends adding exercise gradually, to help prevent injuries.
For most seniors, it’s safe to include exercise as part of a daily routine, but always check with a healthcare provider if you have any questions.
Exercise can reduce stress and improve your overall mood by increasing feel-good endorphins in the brain and reducing cortisol.
Regular exercise can help prevent type 2 diabetes, reduce and prevent high blood pressure, potentially prevent some cancers, and mitigate symptoms of existing chronic disease.
Consistent exercise and a balanced diet can aid in weight maintenance for older adults. Just a few minutes of simple at-home exercises for seniors is an easy way to get started.
Strength training has been shown to help increase bone density, which can help stop bone loss. Regular exercise can even strengthen the muscles surrounding joints impacted by arthritis, and help relieve arthritic pain.
Studies have shown that regular exercise helps boost our immune system and helps prevent complications associated with COVID. Even 30 minutes of physical activity three days per week has been shown to help reduce comorbidities associated with infectious viruses.
Getting active with your senior can benefit both of you, and is a great way to spend quality time together.
Make sure to check with your senior’s healthcare provider before starting any workout program to ensure it’s safe for any specific health needs. If your loved one has osteoporosis or other bone issues, some exercises will need modification to keep your senior safe and healthy.
Once you’ve verified everything is good to go, try these three easy senior-safe workouts.
This exercise provides low-impact strength training for seniors and can be modified for all fitness levels. It focuses on building stability, core strength, intentional breathing, mindfulness, and flexibility.
Get up and get outside! Walking is a great light cardio workout for seniors. In addition to being excellent exercise, walking can help improve your mood by providing a change of scenery, fresh air, and quality time with loved ones. If it’s icy, make sure to get a pair of traction spikes for your shoes.
Ultimately, working out and staying active will help improve the health of you and your loved ones.