Exercise for older adults doesn’t have to be overly strenuous. Even moderate activity offers a wide range of benefits that pay off for years to come. Let’s learn about the benefits of an exercise program no matter what your age.
Is It Worth It?
Are there benefits to exercising later in life? Doctors agree unanimously that physical activity is important for everyone, including mature adults. Of course, each person’s health and physical limitations must be carefully considered. For this reason, The Maples of Towson’s Move For Life program is tailored to individual needs and health history.
In older adults, regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk for heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. And, physical activity may reduce the chance of future problems for those already diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes. Exercise is also beneficial for seniors with arthritis or balance problems, and has even been shown to reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer. For the physically active older person, the risk of falls is also reduced with regular physical activity. Bone health also increases significantly with frequent exercise.
Exercise Helps Avoid Risk
Medical studies show that inactivity worsens health conditions at any age. This is especially true among adults over 65. In fact, being inactive is attributed to the onset of many diseases that might otherwise be avoided or delayed. Inactive people tend to have more doctor visits, take more medications, and are hospitalized more frequently.
Active people tend to live longer and have far fewer health problems. This reality applies to older adults in particular. Simply put, it’s never too late to benefit from exercise.
Feel Good In Every Way
Exercise for older adults benefits the mood and mind as well as the body. Studies show that regular exercise can help prevent or relieve depression and anxiety. The theory behind this is that physical activity releases chemicals from the brain (endorphins) that elevate mood. Some doctors describe a calming effect that occurs when the body temperature increases from exercise.
Another benefit of exercise that is of particular interest to older adults is its positive impact on brain function. Various studies show that exercise reduces the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise is believed to increase the blood flow to the brain, as well as maintain healthy brain cell (neuron) function. This means that organized thinking, memory, and task completion skills are improved or maintained thanks to regular physical activity.
Ask Your Doctor
Regardless of age, it’s always best to consult with a physician before starting a new exercise routine. At The Maples of Towson, our fully trained staff can help residents choose the level of exercise best suited to their particular needs and capabilities. Our goal is to help residents achieve the maximum health benefit while avoiding unnecessary risk.
Stop by and discover why our Move For Life program is such a success. A healthy body is an essential ingredient to healthy living here at The Maples of Towson.