Exercise is an excellent habit to include in your routine – the benefits of exercise increase with age. Exercising daily helps you strengthen your body and improve your overall health. As time passes, the body naturally loses some of its strength and agility and can only accomplish less than 50% of the tasks with the old efficiency.
As an older person, exercise is one of the best things you can do to maintain your health and independence. As age increases, immunity decreases and we can become more prone to diseases. Regular exercise helps to maintain immunity and reduces the risk of illness. In this article, we will be discussing some benefits of daily exercise for older adults.
1. Improves physical & mental health
After retirement, we end up with a lot of time at our disposal but less structure to our daily routine. This can lead to loneliness, leading some people to limit themselves to their chair or bed. However, long periods of inactivity can increase your risk of several diseases and medical conditions.
But it’s not just your physical health that can benefit from daily exercise. Daily exercise leads to the increased production of endorphins (the “feel-good hormones” that make us feel relieved and satisfied). Exercise can also improve the sleep cycle and is a good aid for people who suffer from insomnia or who have unstable sleep patterns.
2. Reduces the risk of falling
As we age, we tend to lose muscle strength in the upper and lower body, which eventually leads to a greater risk of falling or collapsing while doing various chores. One way to combat this is by strengthening those parts of the body with regular exercise.
Exercising strengthens the body and makes it more flexible and agile, thus reducing the risk of falling. There are even several specific exercises for this such as crunches and lower body stretching. Yoga is a popular exercise pursued by those willing to look after their body and mind. The best part about yoga is that it benefits your mind, body, and soul, all at the same time.
3. Improved energy
After retiring, many of us struggle with a lack of routine and miss the structure of our old jobs. This can lead to feelings of isolation, boredom, and even mental health issues like depression.
Working out can give us the required purpose to get out of bed and pursue something. Incorporating regular exercise into your new routine can give you a whole new lease of life. If you work out at a gym or join an exercise class, you’ll also meet new people in the process. This boost to your social life can have wonderful mental health benefits, alongside the physical benefits of daily exercise. A workout routine specially tailored to people should be able to help you regain your energy. Gym equipment could also be added to the workout routine in order to enhance the experience.
4. Maintains heart rate
Old age brings with it some problems like cardiac issues, atherosclerosis, etc. To combat them, one could pursue aerobic activities like walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, biking, tennis, climbing stairs/hills, gardening etc. This will help you maintain a healthy blood pressure and heart rate. A pleasant morning walk on the green grass can also help control the blood pressure.
5. Simpler exercises
If you’re not interested in working out in parks or the garden and you find it hard to take out time to focus on your body, try finding ways to fit gentle exercise into your everyday routine. Whenever you go out, take the stairs instead of the lift. Consider cycling instead of driving – and consider investing in a cheap bicycle engine kit to make the ride even more fun. Take your pet on a walk every evening. When you sit down to watch the television, take the time to do some gentle stretches. Daily exercise doesn’t have to be hard – you don’t need an expensive gym membership or specialist equipment.
Regular exercise is crucial for everybody, no matter your age. However, for older people, it’s even more vital. Daily exercise can lessen or delay the effects of the ageing process, so be sure to invest some of your time in activities like walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling.
For more exercise tips and advice, read 7 Sport and Fitness Activities for Older People