As we age, life might start to slow down but that doesn’t mean you should stop exercising. It is common for energy levels to decrease with age, making it even more difficult to stir up the motivation to exercise. Fortunately, moving your body more will help increase energy both physically and emotionally. While you may no longer be able to run long distance or participate in high intensity training, aging does not mean it is time to take exercise out of our health routine. In fact, the benefits of exercising as you age are abundant. Here are a few:
Boosts Immune System, Helps Prevent Disease
Unfortunately, age is a risk factor for many illnesses. Thankfully, one of the significant benefits of exercise is a boost your immune system. Research has shown that regular exercise, as little as 30 minutes a day, supports the immune system. In fact, exercise can help protect against diseases such as colon cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and many other illnesses. In addition, exercising daily can help combat memory loss issues and cognitive decline. The health benefits of exercise are endless!
Preserves Bone Density and Relieves Osteoarthritis Pain
As we age, our bodies become a little less agile and a little more fragile. Bone health is especially important to manage as we get older because oftentimes our bones weaken and can develop into a condition known as osteoporosis. Fragile bones can also lead to an increase in falls and the injuries associated with falls can become a serious health issue. Regular exercise and strength training keeps your bones strong and slows bone density loss.
When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body. Feeling a little down? One of the quickest ways to start feeling better is to get outside and move your body. You will be amazed at how much it can help.
The benefits of exercise sound great, but before jumping in it’s important to know what exercise programs are safe for you to do as you age. Here we have identified exercises that are good for seniors and shared some of their specific benefits:
- Yoga– Yoga helps you build muscle, improve your flexibility, and strengthen your bones without straining your joints and minimal risk of injury.
- Pilates– with a lot of focus on your core, Pilates uses slow movements to work on your balance and stability which can be very helpful as you age.
- Strength training– while strength training might sound intense, it doesn’t have to mean you are lifting heavy weights. Strength training can mean light weights (1-2lbs), resistance bands, or using your body weight to do squats, stair climbing, etc. These exercises help to gain muscle and burn body fat.
- Aerobics– Swimming, walking, riding a stationary bike, and rowing are all examples of aerobic exercises which are good for your cardiovascular health, help increase energy and support your heart and lungs.
If the thought of exercising as you age is overwhelming, we encourage you to visit the resource section on our website.