Statistics show that adults over 65 spend at least 10 hours a day sitting or lying down, making them the most inactive age group. This type of sedentary lifestyle is not advisable and increases the importance of daily exercise. Exercising, in general, has innumerable benefits and is advised to everyone – across all age groups. It strengthens the bone structure, improves flexibility, and keeps the heart healthy. Studies have shown that working out for even 10 minutes a day can help improve balance, agility, and mental health.
As you get older, it becomes important for you to remain active and exercise to maintain your independence and remain healthy. Being inactive for long periods of time, especially if you are an elderly person can result in aches and pains that you’ve never had before. Many start struggling with normal errands and small pleasures of life such as playing with your grandchildren, walking to the market, meeting up with friends becomes a tedious activity. Being inactive for long duration results in lethargy and pains that make any outdoor activity strenuous.
As we age, our muscle mass starts decreasing. Muscles play an important role in promoting health and wellness, especially as we age. Muscle mass plays a crucial role in maintaining metabolic and bone strength, helps control body weight and without it, you compromise on your mobility and independence. Loss of agility, balance, endurance, and strength, are just a few concerns associated with old age. You also become susceptible to injuries, especially the ones associated with joints. We are not trying to scare you, just stating the facts.
Another important fact about exercise is that they are vital to maintain a robust cognitive function. Exercising helps increase brain neurons and boosts your memory as well. So it doesn’t just improve the physical structure of a human body but also gives you mental strength. Let’s look at some major benefits of exercising as you grow older:
- Prevention of diseases and chronic conditions
Exercise helps in delaying, preventing, and even curing some chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc just to name a few.
- Muscle mass
As stated earlier, muscle mass is important to maintain balance and agility of our body especially during the later stages of life. Muscle mass starts decreasing as we grow older thus decreasing the bone strength too. Exercising regularly can slow the process and help in maintaining muscle mass for years to come.
- Balance and stability
Senior citizens are more prone to falling and breaking body parts than any other age group. As we age, we face balance and stability issues and exercising can help prevent that. Maintaining bone strength, muscle mass and stability can help save a ton of money on broken hip surgeries, hip replacement, and knee replacement surgeries.
- Quality of life
Exercising regularly does not just improve physical fitness and mental strength it promotes a sense of well being and happiness. Being dependent on another human being in old age is one of the worst feelings ever. Exercising can help you maintain your independence and improve the quality of life in your later years.
So, go for a leisurely walk, take the stairs instead of a lift, do gardening, cycle to the grocery shops, do yoga, aerobics, swimming or any form of exercise that interests and motivates you to remain sharp. It’s never too late to start exercising. Enjoy the second innings of your life.