Benefits of Being an Active Senior Citizen
We hear about it all the time over the news, on the internet, and in magazines that working out is a large part of what helps keeps us healthy. The benefits of exercise have been proven time and time again, however, as we age so does our bodies. We can suffer from pain, arthritis, slower reflexes and just feeling tired, and hearing that we need to exercise can sometimes seem like a slap in the face. You may ask yourself, “How am I supposed to exercise when I’m so tired and in such pain?”
It seems like a catch-22, the symptoms are supposed to go away when you exercise but they are the same symptoms that prevent you from exercising in the first place.
It seems like a cruel, ironic joke, yet there can be light at the end of the tunnel.
Let’s start with some of the myths:
Avoiding Activity: Key to Longevity?
As much as many would love this to be true – there’s nothing more misinformed! Physical activity is an absolute must for all of us – young or old! Senior citizens are often advised to ‘take it easy’, rest a lot and avoid straining themselves. But is that really beneficial to your health?
Add to that there is a general image of seniors being frail or sickly which backs the stereotype that senior citizens are not as active as they used to be in their young years. Those who were not physically active in their youth are often worried to start exercising in case they may hurt themselves. We regularly hear from older people who are afraid that exercise will cause too much strain and cause more harm than good.
Is Lack of Exercise Killing You?
Scientists found that staying physically active and engaging in regular exercise can help prevent or slow many diseases and disabilities, including those associated with aging. For example, studies show that people with arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes benefit from regular exercise. Physical activity is also beneficial to those with high blood pressure, balance problems, and walking issues.
Here’s some sage advice on how to workout or begin working out in ways that are best for you. You’re different than everyone else so don’t try to keep up with anyone. Start slowly, build up your own pace and always, always keep your doctor aware of your exercise.
Keep The Body and Mind Sharp by Working Out
The emotional and intellectual benefits of exercise are also extremely important for senior citizens. Physical activity (leisurely movement such as gardening or walking the dog) and exercise (more structured activities such as yoga or aerobics) improve certain aspects of cognitive function, such as the ability to multitask, plan and ignore irrelevant information/stimuli.
Having reviewed 40 studies from the 2000s, researchers found that senior citizens who exercise significantly reduce their risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, dementia, and depression. Working out regularly slows down the rate of aging and guarantees vitality, energy, and longevity.
No Better Time to Start than NOW!
As a senior citizen, you may think it’s too late to start working out now. But what if we told you this is the perfect time to take control of your health? According to research, women between the ages of 75 and 85, all of whom had reduced bone mass or advanced osteoporosis, were able to lower their risk of falling with strength training and resistance workouts. They will also help you avoid age-related muscle loss that affects 1 in 10 senior citizens. Improving mental and physical health will help you remain independent and happy.
Variety is Good
Don’t just stick to walking or cycling. Resistance training is actually a great way to strengthen your muscles and bones while improving your balance. You can train at home with a Gwee Gym or join a senior yoga, Pilates or aerobics class. Don’t be afraid! As a senior citizen, you can work out safely and effectively. Train carefully and diligently to reap the full benefit of exercise in your golden years.