Many people think that aging means slowing down and staying put. While we many not be able to live life at the same level that we once did, however, this is no time to sit still and not move. In fact, seniors who strive to exercise on a regular basis are happier, healthier, and more able to cope with the stressors they may encounter. Living in South Florida gives people of all ages a year-round opportunity to get outside and enjoy life in a variety of ways.
At A Banyan Residence, we see first hand the benefits of exercise and staying active for senior citizens.
The truth is, as we age we lose muscle mass, which can then result in a loss of balance and bone strength. Without working towards staying active, a senior can find everyday tasks becoming more difficult, and start heading towards losing independence completely. Conversely, the addition of exercise to a daily routine typically results in increased energy and reduced aches and pains.
Developing an Exercise Routine
An exercise plan doesn’t have to include a gym membership or a rigorous routine, however. You can simply take the stairs instead of the elevator, or join a walking group at the mall. As long as you are exercising a total of 30 minutes a day – even incrementally – you can begin to see marked results. Here are some of the more common benefits of staying active.
- Balance: Staying active can help to improve stability, reach and balance. This is especially important in the aging population. Falling accidents are the number one cause of injury among seniors, but the stability gained through exercise can reduce these incidents dramatically.
- Flexibility: When a body is more flexible, a senior will experience less stiffness and sore muscles. Better flexibility means less muscle stiffness and soreness, and increased strength helps to slow the loss of bone and muscle mass. When muscles are strong and range of motion is improved, seniors are fall less likely to be injured.
- Healing: Seniors who exercise regularly are more healthy overall; their bodies are more capable of fighting off infection and resisting illnesses they might otherwise be susceptible to. Not only is immunity stronger, but wounds heal more quickly as well.
- Disease Resistance: According to the National Institute on Aging, exercise can delay or even prevent several age-related medical conditions, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
- Brain Health: One of the most vexing effects of aging is memory loss, ranging from mild symptoms to dementia. Exercise can help to improve brain function as more oxygen is pumped to the brain. Staying physically active may even help to generate new brain cell growth as hormones are released.
Great Entry Level Activities
- To keep stress off the joints, look into water-based exercise, such as water aerobics or walking laps in the low end of the pool.
- When beginning a walking regimen, choose a short loop or “back and forth” route until you are familiar with comfortable distances.
- Weight bearing exercises are great for retaining muscle and increasing bone strength, but it is not necessary to use heavy weights. Even a light weight will provide the resistance you need, and are less likely to cause strain or injury.
- Join a sitting aerobics class if you are worried about balance but want to work on strength.
If you or a loved one are a senior citizen, there is no better time than the present to add some exercise to your daily routine. Remember to always check with your physician if you have any health concerns.
A Banyan ResidenceA Banyan ResidenceA Banyan Residence is committed to providing the very best quality of life to our residents – and that includes the resources for physical health and wellness. Call us today for a tour and to learn more about one of Venice’s best assisted living options.