We are likely to slow down and become more inactive as we grow older. Thanks to a range of health problems, pain or weight issues, or fear of falling. Or maybe you think that doing a workout is not your cup of tea as you turn 60. But as you age, leading an active lifestyle becomes more crucial than ever to your health.
In other words, exercise is one of the most important activities to stay healthy and fit in your elderly.
Over the years, many studies have proved the benefits of exercising for seniors, from minimizing the risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer to increasing life span.
No matter what your age or health condition, it is never too late to start a workout and stay fit. And it is safe for older adults to exercise. Even patients who have chronic health conditions such as heart disease, blood pressure, arthritis and diabetes can exercise safely. In fact, exercise can help improve their conditions.
So here we will understand the benefits of workout for seniors as well as how to get started safely and make it fun.
Regular physical activity and exercise for the elderly help improve physical and mental health as well, both of which will help you improve your quality of life as you age. Below, we have rounded up some key benefits of exercise for seniors and older adults.
Increasing Life Expectancy:
Did you know doing exercise can help you live longer?
According to a recent study, 150 minutes of exercise or more each week can increase lifespan by about 7 years than those who are not involved in any kind of physical activity.
In fact, a notable 2018 study concluded that not exercising can increase the risk of premature death more than cardiovascular illness, smoking and diabetes.
Interestingly, another study compared the lungs, heart and muscles of active 70 years people, inactive 70-year-old and active 40 year old. They concluded that the active older people had efficient lung capacity and muscle strength of those who were 30 years younger.
Exercises can help you live longer because it keeps your muscles, joints and bones healthy. Moreover, it minimizes the risk of health conditions like cancer, diabetes and bone disease as well as keeps the blood pressure in check.
Helping in Weight Management:
Ageing also takes a toll on your metabolism, making it challenging to maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise can improve your metabolism and increase muscle mass, increasing the calories burning efficiency of your body. The benefits of losing weight in the elderly are increased mobility, lower risk of heart attack and diabetes, and decreased risk of inflammation.
Lowering the Risk of Diseases:
Some of the common elderly diseases are heart diseases and diabetes.
Good thing is that exercises can be useful in minimizing the risk of such health conditions.
Exercise positively strengthen overall immune function, which is important for aged adults as their immune system are not that strong.
Besides, it reduces the risk factors such as blood pressure and obesity which are the key contributors to heart disease. In diabetic patients, regular physical activity increases the body’s ability to use insulin to balance the glucose levels in the blood.
Even walking or other forms of light exercise can be helpful for your disease management.
Decreasing Anxiety and Depression:
Mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression are common in older adults.
Such mental health issues can decrease an older adult’s physical health, reduce their ability to lead a quality life as well as affect feelings of well-being.
One of the simplest ways to maintain your mental health is exercising.
Exercise, whether you do light walking or pushups, releases a relaxing and calming effect which further reduces mood disorder and stress. In fact, one study has found that older adults who are involved in physical activities have lower rates of falling for any kind of mental illness.
Improving Bone Health:
Exercise can be useful in maintaining bone mass and minimizing age-related bone loss. With daily exercising, your bones adapt by having more bones become denser, thereby maintaining their mass.
Exercising can also improve muscle strength, balance and coordination, which in turn helps prevent falls and the risk of fractures. This is really important for aged adults experiencing osteoporosis.
Improving Mobility, Flexibility and Balance:
Staying physically active can also improve your flexibility, strength and posture, thereby helping with balance and coordination. For example, some stretching workouts allow for significant movement in joints. It also helps to ease muscle tension and soreness and minimizes the risk of injury.
How Often Should Seniors Exercise?
While exercising can be beneficial in the elderly, it is important to know how much activity you should do. Older adults age 65 and more should get at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity such as brisk walking or dancing a week. That accounts for nearly 30 minutes for most days in a week.
Try to do muscle-strengthening activities like weight lifting or sit-ups at least 2 days a week. Apart from that, stay more active in your daily routine by using the stairs instead of the elevator, walking or biking places, working in the yard and doing light workouts while watching TV.
What to Keep in Mind When Starting Exercise?
You as an older adult should also care for your safety while getting started with your physical activity routine. Over-exercising can lead to injury, which may make you give up.
That’s why keep these things in mind:
- Start with low-intensity exercises
- Make sure to warm up before exercising and cool down once your workout is done.
- Drink water before, during and afterwards even if you are not thirsty.
- Wear fitness gear such as clothes and shoes
- If you have any medical condition, consult your doctor to choose the right workout plan for your health.
So you must have understood the benefits of exercises for seniors and ageing adults.
For anyone beginning their calisthenics journey and doing research online, they will probably come across a fella named Chris Heria. He is pretty easy to spot. Here is one of the most recognized experts in the field of calisthenics, thanks in large part to his YouTube channel. He has developed such a huge following that he even has his own line of equipment. Taking it one step further, Heria has released his very own calisthenics workout program: an app called Thenx. Available on Google Play and the App Store, Thenx is designed to build a strong foundation for you to progress into the best shape of your life using only bodyweight exercises. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? Read my Thenx Review to learn more.