Is Exercise Good for the Elderly?
The short answer to this question is a resounding YES! Exercise is generally good for people of all ages. However, not all exercises should be undertaken. Before beginning an exercise regimen, no matter how old you are, please consult a doctor. Many exercises are generally acceptable for people of all ages. Let’s take a look at those.
Walking is a good exercise for your heart and muscles. It can be done as quickly or slowly as you can handle. People who have been active may be able to jog or run, but even those with limited mobility may be able to walk. Walking can also be done with assistive equipment such as canes or walkers. You should check with your doctor if you are concerned.
Stretching is good for muscle health at every age. As we get older, our muscles often ache and become weaker. However, stretching can help prevent these injuries. Gentle stretching videos can often be found on fitness channels or YouTube. Stretching exercises can also be obtained from your doctor. They can recommend stretches for your specific mobility and limitations.
Water exercises such as swimming are fantastic for muscles but are also low or no impact. If your joints are getting stiffer with age, swimming can help you stay in shape while minimizing damage to joints. Fitness centres sometimes have lap swimming pools for members and often have knowledgeable trainers to help you with safe exercises and routines that may be beneficial to your skill levels.
Water aerobics, like swimming, is a no-impact sport that can do wonders for the body. Many programs specially designed for seniors are available at community health centres. Most instructors are accustomed to having seniors with a limited range of motion in their classes.
Benefits to Exercise
Many physical benefits of exercise are obvious. Stronger bones, joints, muscles, and hearts are apparent benefits. However, one thing people do not realize is that exercise is good for mental health and cognitive abilities. Higher oxygen levels from heavier breathing during exercise can be fantastic for brain health. Seniors at risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s often notice a slow in symptoms, the more active they are. Depression and anxiety can also be minimized using exercise. Keep in mind, however, that exercises are not replacements for medications or therapies.
The mental, physical, and cognitive benefits of exercise can increase longevity for seniors. Do not be afraid to become active even if you have not before. Speak to your doctor to find out which exercises they recommend initially. You can usually start small by walking just your block or around your home. Increase your distance until you are comfortable with the distance as a daily exercise plan. Happy exercising.