We all know that exercise in general is a healthy habit. For seniors, the health benefits of exercise become even more important.
Because seniors are prone to so many serious medical conditions, exercise is a great way to both manage and prevent some of the most common issues seniors experience with their health. Here are just a few of the benefits exercise has for seniors.
As we age, our heart can have a harder time pumping blood throughout our body, which can raise your blood pressure and lead to heart complications. Exercise helps strengthen your heart, allowing your heart to pump blood to each part of your body. Because your heart isn’t working harder than it’s supposed to, your blood pressure is lowered.
Osteoporosis is a very common condition in seniors. Osteoporosis occurs when your bones lose bone mass, causing them to become weak and easily broken. Regular exercise helps maintain and regain your bone mass.. Regular exercise can help delay or prevent osteoporosis.
Regular exercise helps your joints maintain their flexibility, which can either prevent arthritis or decrease its effects if you already have arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that can develop very suddenly and advance quickly, so taking steps to prevent it early on is a good idea.
According to the National Council on Aging, a senior is treated for a fall in the emergency room every 11 seconds. Most fatal injuries in seniors are also caused by falls. Regular exercise can literally save your life in this case. By exercising regularly, you are constantly improving your balance, which helps to prevent falls.
The older we age, the harder it is to complete daily activities. Without the proper exercise, seniors can get winded doing even the smallest of activities, like bending over to tie a shoe. Simple exercises like walking or jogging are all you need to improve your endurance as a senior. Improving your balance and endurance will also help you stay independent.
As people age, their metabolism often slows down. This can cause us unhealthy weight gain which can lead to obesity. Obesity contributes to heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis pain.
Exercise can also manage diabetes and even help to prevent it. Diabetes occurs when your blood glucose is at abnormally high levels. Regular exercise can improve your glucose levels and help maintain a healthy weight.
According to the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s can be lowered by up to 50% with regular exercise, which is reason enough to exercise. As a bonus, regular exercise can also prevent depression and help you sleep better at night.
Ultimately, exercise can help in all areas of our bodies. From managing a healthy weight to preventing disease, regular exercise can do it all. Before starting any new exercise program, be sure to consult your doctor.
Danielle K. Roberts is a Medicare insurance expert and co-founder at Boomer Benefits, where her team of experts help baby boomers with their Medicare decisions nationwide.