Have you ever thought, ‘it’s okay, mom (or grandma) is just slowing down with age’? While many people do in fact slow down with age, it should not affect our dedication to getting in physical activity. It is vital that we all remember that no matter how old we are, getting exercise and movement in is crucial. And in fact, as we age, we should actually be more physically active to stay healthy and keep our bodies strong.
While exercise benefits everyone, there are many specific benefits of exercise for older adults, from psychological benefits, to physical and general health benefits.
Let’s go on to explore some of the standout benefits of exercise for older adults.
Benefits of exercise for older adults
Psychological benefits of exercise for adults
Helps to stay independent
A common point of frustration amongst older adults is the lack of independence or feeling thereof. However, if you keep up with exercise and keep your body strong, your body and mind will benefit and you will be more independent to do the things that you love, whether it is playing a round of golf with friends, or walking to a nearby café, or simply maneuvering around the house.
Many would say that though they are thankful they get to, they are also not all too excited to age for the body changes that will inevitably (and beautifully) occur. Exercise is a wonderful way to feel more comfortable in your body, boost self-confidence and produce those endorphins!
The more you see how much you (and your body) can really do, even as you age, you will naturally trust yourself more and as a result, get a self-confidence boost.
Physical benefits of exercise for older adults
Prevent or delay illness and chronic disease
As with those of any age, exercise reduces the impact of illness and chronic disease. It can, for example, reduce inflammation, lead to better bone density, and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and certain cancers.
Improve mobility and balance
Exercise strengthens your body and improves overall your muscle tone and flexibility, and in turn, it improves mobility and balance. This is significant for older adults, both in terms of feeling more confident in your own body as well as reducing the risk of falls.
Falling is a major concern for older adults as the reaction time gets slower, and if a fall does occur, having improved strength and muscle tone can reduce the harsh impact and the amount of time required to recover.
Health benefits of exercise for older adults
Improved quality of sleep
Sleep is an essential part of health. Exercising gives you the opportunity to release built up energy or stress that you carry in your body, and the quality of your sleep will reflect that. After getting movement in, you’ll have an easier time getting to sleep, sleep better throughout the night, and wake up feeling refreshed and recharged after a good night of quality rest.
Live for longer
According to the World Health Organization, one of 10 leading causes of death and disability is leading a sedentary lifestyle. So get outside and get your body moving, in whichever way you enjoy!
The best part is, these are only a few of the benefits of exercise for older adults! So consider what activities you enjoy doing or that you would like to try, discuss them with your doctor, and get to exercising!