Most of us have read about or heard from our doctor that it is important to exercise on a regular basis. Experts generally say we need thirty minutes of exercise most days of the week for a total of 150 minutes a week. But does regular exercise really help you live a longer, healthier life? Can a lack of exercise actually be dangerous to your physical and mental health? And if so, what types of exercise should older adults engage in?
Here’s what research shows to be the answers to each of these questions.
Health Benefits of Regular Exercise
Working exercising in to your daily schedule can reward you with:
- Lower blood pressure
- Less likely to become obese
- Decreased risk of diabetes
- Stronger core which helps reduce the risk for falls
- Better bone health
- More positive attitude
- Improved quality of sleep
- Lower stress and better ability to cope with life’s daily challenges
Equally important is to explore what happens to the body when you live too sedentary of a life:
- Poor balance and more falls
- Back and muscle pain
- Greater risk of cancer, diabetes, depression, and heart disease
- Problems getting to sleep and staying asleep
It’s important to take time to learn how what types of exercise and how much of it you should engage in to stay healthy during your retirement years.
Activity, Exercise, and Physical Fitness
One mistake people often make when it comes to fitness is thinking that having a busy life is all the exercise they need. While some types of activity—gardening, swimming, laundry, and house cleaning— actually do count as physical fitness activities, just being busy isn’t exercise.
Exercise is a structured type of physical activity that requires you to exert yourself and get your heart rate up. A few senior-friendly forms of exercise to discuss with your family doctor include:
- Walking briskly
- Biking or using a recumbent bike
- Chair yoga
- Strength training
- Resistance bands
- Low impact aerobics
If you’ve been leading a fairly sedentary lifestyle, your physician can help you figure out a safe schedule for working exercise in to your daily life. They will likely recommend you start slowly and build up to the suggested 150 minutes of weekly exercise.
Lifestyle360 at Five Star Senior Living
At Five Star Senior Living communities, you will find a unique program designed to meet each of the five dimensions of wellness: physical, spiritual, emotional, social, and intellectual. We call it Lifestyle360. Our communities plan at least one daily event or activity that corresponds to each of the five dimensions of wellness.
We invite you to visit us to learn how we help residents live their best quality of life each day. Call the Five Star community nearest you to schedule a time!