5 Benefits of Exercising As We Age
It is no secret that exercise is important. Living a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a proper diet, and having a consistent exercise routine has never been more prevalent than it is today. There is an exercise routine for everyone; whether you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or just want to stay in shape and keep moving. There are tremendous amounts of benefits that come along with a regular exercise routine. The list goes on and on. The benefits of exercise become even more pertinent as individuals get older. These benefits can lead to a longer, more active, and healthier lifestyle as we age. Five key benefits to exercising as we age are listed below.
1. Improved Cardiovascular Endurance
Exercise can improve cardiovascular endurance which improves the health of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. This will make breathing easier and will actually lower your heart rate (meaning it doesn't have to work as hard all day). The better shape your cardiovascular system is in, the easier becomes to exercise and complete daily tasks which in turn improves motivation to do them. It is recommended that individuals perform about 20-30 minutes of light/ moderate aerobic exercise a day such as a brisk walk.
2. Improved Strength
Did you know that after the age of 30 our bodies begin to lose both bone mass and muscle mass every year for the rest of our lives? This can be prevented by performing light to moderate resistance training. I do not mean you need to start bench pressing ASAP. This can be accomplished with a 20-minute workout consisting of simple exercises like lunges, light dumbbells, or even resistance bands. Feel free to give us a call on a specific exercise prescription to use, 1-201-485-6114.
3. Prevents or Delays Disease
It is safe for most older adults to participate in some type of exercise routine. Exercise can be performed by both individuals with chronic illness or individuals who are trying to prevent chronic disease. Exercise can delay, improve, or in some cases even reverse heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, and many others. Check out this article for more on how it helps prevent disease: Exercise for Prevention and Relief of Cardiovascular Disease: Prognoses, Mechanisms, and Approaches.
4. Improved Balance
Exercising can also have a direct impact on standing balance which can lead to reduced risk for falls in the future. Falling is an issue with many older adults and can lead to injuries like fractures and long hospital stays. Improving balance can help prevent a whole sequela of events that can possibly happen following a fall. According to a research article by Catherine Sherrington et al exercise programmes reduce the rate of falls and the number of people experiencing falls in older people living in the community
5. Improved Mental Health
Exercising improves energy, improves cognitive function, and can improve an individual’s mood. Exercising in groups can also have a great social impact on one’s life. Check out this excellent article by help guide.org which lists all of the benefits: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm
As mentioned above, exercising has many benefits for individuals especially as they age. The benefits are not limited to this list alone. Exercising is relatively safe for most older adults even those with a chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. If you are unsure if exercise is safe for you, please consult with your doctor.
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