For those wanting to live longer, healthier, more independent lives, regular exercise has been found to be the number one piece of advice from health care professionals, along with eating a well-balanced diet. A daily exercise routine can help seniors maintain their physical fitness and improve overall health. Yet, many older adults miss out on the benefits of regular exercise due to the following misconceptions about exercise and the elderly:
Exercise is for younger people.
Exercise isn’t safe for older adults. They could fall, stumble, pull a muscle or possibly bring on a heart attack.
It’s too late for people of an advanced age to get any benefit from exercise.
Fortunately, each of these assumptions is completely false. While even elite athletes have been known to suffer a heart attack or injury in the middle of an exercise regimen, research shows that regular exercise has both physical and psychological benefits for the elderly. Starting off slow and easy is always advised if an individual has not been exercising or is just starting a new exercise regimen. But according to the Office of Aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a fitness plan can be used to:
Lessen the degree of disability for the elderly, which is a huge issue as we age and affects our quality of life
Increase muscular strength and endurance which deteriorates with age and inactivity
Improve flexibility and range of motion
Improve bone mass that is weakened by osteoporosis (softening of the bone) which can cause fractures to occur
Improve respiratory efficiency
Relieve some symptoms of arthritis
Increase a sense of independence and self-esteem
Enhance cognitive (mental) abilities
Reduce anxiety and tension and help fight depression, another huge issue with the aging process
If you would like to learn more about how to begin an exercise program or how exercise can help you or an older loved one, Google the words “senior fitness,” and go online to further research the topic. And if you or your loved one has reached the point where you or the individual is no longer able to care for their home or themselves, please contact the care team at AAging Better In-Home Care! We can work with you or your loved one to create a “Care Plan” that meets your (or his or her) specific needs and help you or them to start leading a more active and independent life today. Contact us online or call us at (208) 777-0308 in the Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls or Hayden areas; (208) 263-7889 in the Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry or Priest River areas; or (208) 784-1505 in the Kellogg, Wallace or Pinehurst areas.