There’s no arguing with the fact that staying active is important, no matter what age we are. However, it’s also all too true that, as we age, our bodies slow down and exercise becomes a little more difficult.
According to the CDC, by the time they are 75, about one in three men and one in two women engage in no physical activity. Reduced physical activity is one factor that contributes to reduced strength and stamina in older persons.
Although you may not do the same types of exercise in your 60s, 70s, and beyond that you did in your 20s, it’s important to stay active. The health benefits associated with senior fitness can lead to better mobility, maintenance of independence, and a better overall quality of life.
5 Benefits of Senior Fitness
1. Cardiovascular Health
Regular exercise (the kind that gets your heart rate up) lowers your risk of heart disease. It can also help to keep your blood pressure down. If you suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension) exercise can even help to lower blood pressure.
2. Stronger Bones
Exercise, especially strength training, protects against loss of bone mass. This leads to lower risk of osteoporosis, falling, and broken bones.
3. Emotional Health
Physical activity reduces the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression and can lead to improved moods and increased feelings of well being.
4. Healthier Joints
Exercising can help control joint swelling and so can reduce pain caused by arthritis.
5. Stronger Immune System
People who exercise regularly tend to recover more quickly from injury, illness, or surgery. That’s because a strong body is better equipped to fight infection and recuperate effectively.
What Kinds of Exercise Can Seniors Enjoy?
Physical activity doesn’t have to be strenuous in order to be good for you. As a matter of fact, moderate amounts of activity, as long as it is done regularly (daily if possible) can have significant health benefits.
Always consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. Once you’ve got the ok, it’s usually a good idea to start out with short sessions or with low-intensity activities. As you notice your stamina increasing, you can build up from there.
Walking and gardening are popular, low intensity activities that many seniors enjoy. Others might engage in sports like tennis, golf, or biking. Exercising with weights, resistance bands, or just doing some stretching or balance drills with a chair or exercise mat are also good options. According to the National Institute on Aging, a well rounded exercise routine should include exercises that encourage strength, balance, endurance, and flexibility.
Aquatic Exercise – A Great Choice for Many Seniors
Depending on the specific routine, an aquatic exercise program has the potential to include all four components of a balanced exercise regimen.
Many seniors find that aquatic exercise is just what they need to stay active and fit. It’s extremely low impact, so even those with arthritis or other conditions that make exercising difficult find that they have less pain when exercising in the water.
The Davis Community Offers Rehabilitation at Its Finest
The Davis Community has a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center where our residents can exercise and/or recover from their surgeries using modern equipment designed especially for seniors. Our warm salt water pool offers seniors the opportunity to experience the many benefits of aquatic exercise or therapy. We take pride in offering the best rehabilitation in Wilmington NC. If you or an aging parent need physical rehabilitation, visit our Facebook page to learn more about the fitness center at Davis Community. Or, for more information about our retirement community, nursing homes, or skilled nursing services, just give us a call today at 910-566-1200.