Health professionals don’t stop highlighting the importance of physical exercise. Throughout adulthood, exercise plays an essential role in keeping our body and mind healthy. However, you should not give up this habit as you age, but rather adapt it to your current capabilities. Find out more about the importance of exercise for seniors.
Which Seniors Should Exercise?
The term senior covers a large group of older adults. You are a senior when you retire and you are a senior at 80 and there is no precise limit to when you should stop exercising.
If you suffer from any chronic disease, you have recently been hospitalized or you have developed age-related mobility problems or bone diseases, you should be talking to your doctor about what type of exercise is recommended and allowed in your case.
If you have no health problems, you should keep as active as you can even after you retire and follow the same rule that applies to the rest of the adult population: at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. Good and interesting example? Gardening for seniors. It’s such a nice occupation because seniors can still show off their creativity. It also increases serotonin and decreases stress and risks of heart issues!
If this thought sounds dreadful, don’t worry, nobody is expecting you to lift weights or run for half an hour each day, a simple walk in the park or city center is enough to burn those calories and keep you fit.
What Are the Advantages of Exercise for Seniors?
The advantages are pretty much the same as in the case of younger adults. The difference is that seniors are more susceptible to illness and different muscle or bone problems such as fractures due to the fact that their systems become weaker as they age.
Therefore, it is important to adapt the type of exercise you perform to your age and general health in order to enjoy the benefits and avoid risks.
A Healthier Heart
Exercise is essential for our cardiovascular system and the elderly in particular need a healthy heart as they are more prone to developing heart problems such as high blood pressure which can lead to heart attacks. Exercising daily maintains the heart healthier because it reduces the risk of gaining extra pounds which is a leading factor that causes many heart diseases.
Seniors often struggle with sleep disorders which come with age. Waking up too early and not being able to fall asleep at night are some of the common issues affecting the elderly. Needless to add that these sleep problems lead to a decreased quality of life. Lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep is associated with anxiety, depression, fatigue, and even obesity.
However, by exercising every day, seniors can improve their sleep quality and avoid all the problems that stem from poor sleep. Exercising regulates the body’s rhythm and promotes a good quality sleep because you will have, in the first place, a reason to feel tired in the evening and therefore fall asleep easier.
Improved Mental Health
Sadly, other common problems the elderly typically deal with are those related to their mental health. On the one hand, there are common age-related illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s for which we don’t have a cure up to the present date.
On the other hand, seniors often fall victim to more common psychological issues that can affect people of all ages such as depression and anxiety. Sport has proven results in helping manage these mental problems as it helps get more of those ‘happiness hormones’ that contribute to our well-being.
Bottom line is that sport contributes a lot to a senior’s physical and mental well-being. It is true that intensive workout is no longer suitable after a certain age, but nonetheless, there are physical exercises that the elderly can practice successfully without any risk. One of the best ways for them to exercise is by getting special bikes for seniors that are suitable for their needs.