It is no secret that older adults benefit greatly from regular physical activity. Seniors should make a commitment to getting in an adequate amount of exercise each day. Not only will this improve overall health and mitigate the risk of disease, but it will also provide a mental and emotional boost. Here are three things to know about the importance of physical activity for seniors.
Reduce the Risk for Diseases
Physical activity has been proven to reduce the risk of disease for senior citizens. Even if you already have a chronic condition, daily exercise can help to control the symptoms and slow the progression of many diseases. Making the commitment to get up and move may prevent or delay the onset of various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Regular exercise can also play a big part in reducing blood pressure, helping to stave off a host of issues. Weight-bearing exercises will strengthen bones while maintaining healthy joints and muscles.
Amount of Activity
Seniors should participate in approximately 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, with each session lasting about 10 minutes. Breaking the activity up into smaller increments of time will reduce the risk of injury and exertion. Small bursts of activity will also serve as a motivation to keep moving because the exercise can be easily incorporated into a daily schedule. Seniors that have been sedentary need to take caution when launching a new routine. Be sure to start off slowly and gradually build up endurance as the body becomes accustomed to the exercise.
You do not have to get out and run for an hour each day to see the physical and mental benefits of exercise. When devising an exercise routine, it is important to incorporate activities that boost endurance, strengthen muscles and bones, improve balance and encourage flexibility. Good exercise choices for seniors include yoga, pilates, walking, resistance training, biking, and simple stretching exercises. The hardest part about developing an exercise routine is simply getting started. Once you make this exercise a part of the daily routine, it will become easier to maintain moving forward.
Seniors who commit to daily exercise are more likely to be able to retain their sense of independence as they age. Encouraging the elderly to make exercise a priority will pay off big dividends both now and in the future.