Benefits of Exercise for Older Adults

With the coronavirus still lingering in the country, older adults are at greater risk if they are diagnosed with it. Due to this, they are advised to stay home until everything goes back to normal. Even though they stay at home, it’s still important for them to stay active and exercise regularly.

Staying healthy is essential whether they are in an assisted living facility or are with the family. If they are under home health care, they should go through physical therapy under a professional’s supervision. Otherwise, they should be encouraged to exercise regularly.

Here are some benefits of exercising for seniors or older adults.

Harm Reduction

While staying in bed for extended periods can harm anybody at any age, the effect is more pronounced among older adults. Without regular exercise, adults over 50 years old can experience reduced muscle mass, physical endurance, and strength. It can also affect their flexibility and mobility. Additionally, bone strength will go down while body fat levels and blood pressure will increase.

Older adults will also have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and will become susceptible to mood disorders. With all of these in mind, they need to exercise regularly. These exercises can be as simple as going up and down a flight of stairs, wall push-ups, and yoga. The important thing is they move around regularly. Since it might not be safe to go out of the property, they can exercise in the backyard to allow them to get some fresh air and sunlight.

Prevention of Adult Decline

Another benefit of exercising among older adults is it produces endorphin, which relieves stress. These hormones also leave them feeling satisfied and happy. After exercising, they will also sleep better, which is essential for older adults who may suffer from disrupted sleeping patterns or insomnia.

Studies have also shown that moderate exercise can increase brain glucose metabolism among older adults. This glucose metabolism can hint at the possibility that it may reduce Alzheimer’s disease among older adults since one characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease is lower brain metabolism.

The longer the period an older adult performs moderate exercises, the more glucose metabolism happens. Due to this, exercise may be one way to fight Alzheimer’s disease. But additional studies have yet to be conducted to confirm this.

Studies have also shown that physical activity can help cognitive function among older adults. It can also lower the risk of dementia. These studies point to the importance of exercise among older adults to prevent a decline in cognitive functions.

Provide Routine

mom and daughter

Among the things that older adults miss about their younger years is living a normal life. With the pandemic still around, normalcy isn’t in sight yet. But this doesn’t mean older adults cannot have a routine every day.

When they exercise regularly, they’ll have something to look forward to the next day. This is particularly true for people living in retirement homes or assisted living communities. Since these places have areas where they can move around safely, they can form a walking group to walk around the property together.

They can also organize a gardening club to plant flowers and take care of them as they grow. The older adults can even have a group fitness class where everyone gets to exercise regularly. The important thing is that they have a routine that they can look forward to each day. In this situation, they will not feel the stress of the pandemic and see their health improve every day.

Prevent Hospitalization

Exercise can help prevent falls among older adults. It’s strange since many people think that they are frail and will easily fall. But exercising makes their muscles stronger and increases their flexibility. Additionally, it allows them to improve their balance and coordination.

Some simple exercise they can perform at home includes standing on their toes while holding a chair for balance. This exercise strengthens ankles and calves. To improve balance, they can try standing on one leg. Knee curls strengthen their back muscles and butt. To strengthen their thigh muscles and reduce knee pains, they can perform leg extensions. Walking is also another exercise that older adults can do to improve their balance while building their strength.

These exercises can prevent falls among older adults, which is the most common reason they are hospitalized. So, if they can prevent falls, it reduces instances of hospitalization among them.

Exercising is one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy. It offers a lot of benefits to everyone of all ages, especially older adults.

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