As you age, your body changes and you face different health challenges. Which makes it even more important to put in the effort to stay healthy and active.
Exercise has so many incredible benefits that go beyond physical health, too. The best part? You don’t have to be a fitness buff to reap the benefits of exercise — any type of movement is good for you. Here are our 6 Benefits of Exercise for Older Adults.
1. Improve Heart Health
Regular aerobic activity has numerous benefits for your heart health. It can significantly decrease your chances of developing coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, or stroke by up to 62%. By engaging in regular aerobic exercise, you can strengthen your muscles and enhance their ability to utilize oxygen effectively. This, in turn, promotes a healthier heart that efficiently pumps blood throughout your body.
Moreover, research has shown that consistent physical activity also plays a role in regulating cholesterol levels. It can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol while simultaneously increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. Additionally, it helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
By combining all of these positive effects, you can greatly reduce the risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke. Even if you already have cardiovascular disease, incorporating physical activity into your routine alongside a nutritious diet can significantly improve your overall health outcomes.
2. Reduce Risk of Falls
Did you know that falling is one of the most common injuries among seniors? Shockingly, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds.
However, there is good news! Exercise has been proven to reduce the risk of falling. A study found that exercise can decrease fall rates in community-dwelling older people by 23%.
Not only that, but if you do happen to fall, being physically active can help you recover faster and with less serious injuries. It's never too late to start taking preventative measures against falls, and we've got you covered with 9 fall prevention exercises to get you started.
3. Mental Health & Mood
We all know that exercise is great for our physical health, but have you ever thought about how it can also benefit your mental health? It turns out that exercise is a powerful tool for improving your mood and boosting your overall sense of well-being. Your body releases endorphins - natural painkillers that improve your mood and make you feel great.
But it's not just about the endorphins. Exercise also gives you a sense of accomplishment. Think about how good you feel after completing a challenging workout session. That feeling of achievement can have a compounding effect, motivating you to accomplish even more.
4. Enhance Cognitive Function
Did you know that exercise can improve brain function by up to 15%?
Recent research shows that physical activity can help seniors and older adults keep their minds sharp. Exercise reduces inflammation in the brain, improves blood flow, and even promotes new brain cell growth.
It's like taking your brain to the gym! So why not consider adding some exercise to your retirement routine to improve your neuroplasticity and cognitive function?
5. Benefits of Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Physical activity is an incredible way to naturally relieve stress. Just think about how clear-headed and peaceful you felt the last time you engaged in physical activity.
This is because exercise helps to reduce the levels of stress hormones in your body, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Additionally, any type of exercise requires focus and concentration, allowing you to fully enjoy the activity and reap the benefits of mindfulness. It's like a moving meditation.
If you're feeling stressed, try going for a brisk walk or engaging in some cardio exercise right away. You'll be amazed at how quickly you'll start to feel better. And the best part is, this benefit also goes hand in hand with relaxation.
6. Stronger Bones
Regular exercise is essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones. As we age, our bones become weaker and more prone to fractures, making it crucial to take preventative measures.
Incorporating weight-bearing and resistance exercises into your routine is the most effective way to increase bone density and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. By adding strength training a few times per week, you can significantly improve your bone health and prevent future problems.
Remember, even a little bit of exercise can go a long way in keeping your bones strong and resilient.