Exercise Benefits and Tips for Seniors

Senior Exercise Benefits

Exercise benefits everyone, but seniors are especially likely to enjoy better physical, mental and cognitive health when they are on a regular fitness program. An exercise program that focuses on strength training and balance exercises can help a senior avoid the kind of deadly fall accidents that are very common as a person ages.

An exercise program can help prevent cardiovascular disease, including hypertension and diabetes. Studies also find that exercise provides not only physical benefits, but also aids cognitive thinking in seniors. Aging contributes to a substantial decline in brain tissue density, but those declines can be slowed down through exercise.

Exercise also plays a big role in ensuring emotional health. Seniors are more likely to get depressed and according to studies, as many as 14% of males and 8% of females over the age of 55 suffer symptoms of depression. Exercise releases “feel-good” endorphins in the body, contributing to an overall sense of well-being, and lifting moods.

Senior Exercise Tips

Because of their age, seniors must not begin an exercise program before consulting a doctor. This is an absolute must. Talk to your doctor about the kind of exercise program you are thinking of starting, and take his or her advice.

If you have spent years being inactive, don’t suddenly try to make up for years of lack of exercise. You could strain yourself and possibly injure your body. You can only start with five minutes of walking everyday every day, and that would be perfectly fine. Walking, hiking, swimming and bicycling are excellent options for seniors. Also consider other fun options like dancing. For instance, swing dancing or ballroom dancing classes can help you get up and about, and have fun at the same time.

Check your local fitness centers for exercise classes specially designed for seniors. If you want to try flexibility exercises like yoga, or stretching exercises, do so only under professional guidance. Look into programs that specifically focus on strength training and balance exercise – these are more beneficial for seniors above the age of 55.

Another added benefit of exercise is that you get to go out, and meet new people, which also contributes to an overall sense of well-being.

A senior home care companion can help keep track of what you eat, drive you to fitness and exercise classes, or act as a daily walking companion. Call us to discuss senior home care options that suit your needs.

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