Importance of Fitness and Exercises for Seniors
As we start to grow older, it becomes even more important
to remain fit and have active lifestyle.
One way of improving your fitness levels is by performing exercises on regular basis which will also increase your energy levels, slow down the aging process, prevent illnesses and relieve pain. Not only does exercise improve your physical fitness, it is also beneficial for your mental health, memory and mood.
Health Problems and Starting Exercises
Starting exercise routine can often become challenging for senior people and health problems, illness or injuries can make them feel discouraged. Furthermore, if you were never involved in any fitness activity then it can become confusing for you to decide where to start from. You may also feel that you have grown too old to do any exercises or it is quite boring. On the contrary to such apprehensions, exercises can be fun apart from helping to improve all aspects of your physical as well as mental well-being. Exercises can help to keep you strong, healthy and energetic as you age and prolong your lifespan.
To get benefits out of exercises you do not have to undergo arduous workouts, the main thing will be to increase activity and movements in your day to day routines. Even if you stay at home most of the time, there are different ways of staying active and improving your fitness.
Five Misconceptions about Aging and Exercises
#1 Misconception: You will grow old, no use of exercises
The actual fact is that strength training as well as exercises are beneficial in making your feel younger and also remain active. If you stay physically active then it can reduce risk of various health problems such as heart diseases, colon cancer, dementia, obesity, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.
#2 Misconception: Old people will lose strength by exercising
Opposite to such misconception, sedentary lifestyle is considered to be unhealthy for seniors over the age of 50 years. If senior people are not physically active then it can become difficult for them to do their own work and need hospitalization for diseases which can be avoided if they are physically fit.
#3 Misconception: Exercises increase risk of falls
On the contrary to such belief, exercises help to build up stamina and strength as well as stop bone mass loss in addition to improving balance. These improvements in your physical fitness in turn help to reduce chances of falls rather than increasing them.
#4 Misconception: Its late now, passed the age to exercise
There is no age to start exercising and any person of any age can start exercising depending upon the physical condition he or she is in. Initially, you will have to start with gentle activities such as light walking and then slowly increase the activity level.
#5 Misconception: There are no exercises for the disabled
If you are bound to a wheelchair, even then you can exercise. You can do stretching exercises, lift light weights and perform aerobics, which will help to enhance muscle tone, improve range of motions and facilitate cardiovascular health.
Physical and Mental Benefits of Exercises for Old People
There are various benefits of regular exercises for seniors and these benefits can be divided into two basic categories comprising of physical and mental health. In the following sections let us go through in detail the different benefits that can be attained from exercises and improved fitness levels.
Physical Benefits of exercises for Seniors
- Maintaining Weight: As you grow old the metabolism level starts to go down and it becomes difficult to maintain healthy weight. The benefit of exercises is that you can increase metabolism by regular exercises, burn calories and develop muscle mass. You will be able to achieve overall wellness as your body weight reaches desired level.
- Risk of Diseases: Some of the main benefits of regular exercises include better immunity, reduction in blood pressure, and improvement in heart health, enhanced digestive functions and increase in bone density. In various studies it has been found that risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity also reduces in seniors who do exercises on daily basis.
- Improved Flexibility: By regularly exercising you will be able to improve your posture, become more flexible and build more strength. These improvements in turn will help to enhance your balancing power and boost coordination between various internal functions. Exercises such as those involving strength training are also useful in many chronic conditions like arthritis.
- Better Sleep: Adequate sleep is necessary if you want to stay healthy and aging does not mean that you have to spend nights without any sleep. The benefit of exercises is that it helps to improve sleep and the sleep you get is deeper than you get otherwise.
- Improved Self Confidence: Exercises result in release of endorphins which help to improve your mood and reduce depression. If you feel strong then it has a direct positive effect on your self confidence and self-esteem.
- Brain Functions: Brain functions improve with
regular exercises and help in preventing memory loss,
dementia and cognitive decline. The progress of other
brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease is also prevented
by proper exercises.