Did you know that it’s never too late to start exercising? No matter how young or how old, the body will benefit from movement. Senior fitness exercises not only help us deal with stress on a daily basis, but helps improves balance, mobility, and most importantly, muscle strength and coordination.
You may wonder how exercise for seniors has anything to do with stress, but the fact is that exercise releases hormones in the brain called endorphins, which promote a sense of well-being that also relieve aspects of loneliness or depression in seniors separated from friends, family, or socialization options.
Exercise, regardless of advancing age, can help keep the body toned and strong for, climbing stairs, and engaging in many other daily tasks. There’s an old saying that “when your legs go, the rest of you goes” and a growing numbers of seniors today are living well and healthy by simply taking a walk every day. It doesn’t matter if you’re 60 years old or 90 years old – movement will do your body good. Of course, always discuss exercise for older adults with your doctor or therapist prior to beginning, because everyone is different.
Exercise is good for every organ system in the body, from your brain to your bowels. From pain relief to stronger immune systems, to stronger and more stable joints, physical and mental exercise stimulates brain function and maintains neural pathways. A strong immune system keeps you healthier and reduces your vulnerability to illness. More stable joints not only increase mobility and range of motion, but help to reduce fall risk.
You don’t have to pump iron to exercise. Exercise can be done sitting in a chair while watching TV. Chair aerobics are popular with seniors if you’re just getting started as well as for those with decreased cognitive levels, disabilities, or physical limitations. Water aerobics are an excellent method of not only socializing, but exercising without placing undue stress on the joints. Gentle forms of exercise like Tai chi are excellent for balance and stability.
The most important thing is to engage in a form of exercise that you like. Exercise doesn’t have to be structured, but can involve walking, gardening, sweeping the patio, raking leaves, or doing light housework. All forms of exercise increase cardiovascular health.
The bottom line is that senior fitness is beneficial. Increase flexibility, lubricate your joints, maintain or lose weight, and most importantly, improve organ function and health.
Until next time,
Stay happy & healthy