When you’ve been sedentary for a long time, exercise can seem intimidating, challenging, or even optional. As people get older, they’re more likely to be less active. In fact, according to the CDC, about one in three men and one in two women engage in no physical activity by age 75. If you’ve been shrugging off exercise for years, take a little time now to explore the benefits of exercise for seniors. Physical activity “is medicine for older adults,” and even a moderate amount of exercise can produce tremendous effects.
Benefits of Exercise for Seniors
Reduce Risk of Health Conditions
The more you move, the lower your risk of developing a variety of health conditions, including all of the following: coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes (source). In fact, inactive adults will experience health benefits if they simply perform some physical activity each week. Of course, lifelong exercisers will enjoy the greatest benefits. According to one study, 75-year-olds who had been exercising regularly for 50 years had similar cardiovascular health to a 40- or 45-year old.
Improve Muscle Strength and Stamina
As we age, our muscles tend to lose tone and our stamina decreases. However, according to the CDC, this is largely a function of inactivity. Exercise builds and strengthens your muscles, which helps protect your bones and support your joints. It also boosts stamina, which is vitally important to quality of life because it increases your ability to perform everyday tasks without getting winded or tired.
Exercise is known to be a mood enhancer. It releases endorphins, which reduce your perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling in your body. Exercise reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression and lowers stress levels as well.
Maintain Healthy Bones, Muscles, and Joints
We’ve already discussed how exercise helps with muscle strength, but did you know that it also helps your body maintain its bones and joints? Not only can this reduce your risk of osteoporosis and decrease arthritis symptoms, but it can also lead to better posture and balance.
Because it increases muscle strength and aerobic fitness, regular physical activity can help a senior maintain functional independence. Additionally, it reduces your risk of falling and fracturing your bones.
It’s never too late to start exercising. And as we mentioned above, you don’t need to complete strenuous, sweaty workouts to achieve significant health benefits through exercise. According to the CDC, moderate physical activity (preferably completed on a daily basis) is extremely worthwhile.
At Springhouse Village, we know how important it is to enjoy your retirement in a lively and welcoming environment. We make it easy for our residents to be active participants in our community. Whether that means encouraging residents to shop at local farmers markets or assisting them in starting a garden club, we strive to help our residents thrive. To learn more about the amenities and services we offer, contact Springhouse Village today.