Regular exercise can help boost energy, manage and prevent most ailments and even reverse some of the symptoms of aging. As you grow older, an active lifestyle is more important than ever. Exercise is good for your body, mind, mood, and memory.
Starting or maintaining a regular exercise routine can be a challenge as you get older. There are many reasons and excuses to slow down and take it easy as you age, such as:
• There is no point in exercising. You are anyway getting old.
• Older people should not exercise to save strength and energy.
• Exercise puts the elderly at the risk of falling or injury.
• It’s too late to start.
• Disabled elderly cannot exercise sitting down.
The above excuses and reasons are all untrue. No matter what your age is or your current physical condition, you can benefit from exercise. As you age, regular exercise is more important than ever to your body and mind. Exercising has many health benefits, such as the ones mentioned below:
Physical Health benefits:
• Exercise helps older adults maintain or lose weight: Due to the effect of aging, body metabolism slows down naturally, which may lead to weight gain. Exercising can help boost metabolism and maintain body weight.
• Exercise reduces the impact of illnesses and chronic diseases: Regular exercise improves the body’s immune response, helping in keeping illnesses and chronic diseases at bay. Along with benefitting the immune system, exercise also aids in better heart health and blood pressure, better bone density,
and better digestive functioning. Exercise even leads to a lowered risk of several chronic conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and colon cancer.
• Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance in adults over 50. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn will help with balance, coordination, and reducing the risk of falls. Strength training also helps alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.
Mental Health Benefits:
• Exercise improves your sleep: Poor sleep is one of the consequences of aging and quality sleep is important for your overall health. Exercise helps you fall asleep more quickly and a sound sleep.
• Exercise boosts mood and self-confidence: Exercise leads to the production of a hormone called Endorphin which is also known as the happy hormone. This hormone can actually help you feel better and reduce feelings of sadness or depression. Being active and feeling strong helps you feel more self-confident as you age.
• Exercise is good for the brain. Exercise benefits regular brain functions and can help keep the brain active. Exercise may even help slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are some tips mentioned to get started safely:
• Ask your doctor before starting an exercise program and identify what needs to be avoided, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.
• Keep in mind how your ongoing health problems affect your workouts. For example, diabetics may need to adjust the timing of medication and meal plans when setting an exercise schedule.
• Divide the workout into two 10 minute sessions separated by 8-10 hours.
• Force yourself to stick to an exercise schedule.
• Stay motivated by focusing on short-term goals, such as improving your mood and energy levels and reducing stress, rather than goals such as weight loss, which can take longer to achieve.
• Stop exercising immediately and call your doctor if you feel dizzy or short of breath, develop chest pain or pressure, break out a cold sweat, or experience pain.