Latest News29 July 2020
What Are The Top 7 Health Benefits Of Exercising Regularly As We Age?
Why Is Exercise so important?
Regular exercise isn’t just important for maintaining your body, it’s equally as important to help maintain your mental health as well, and this becomes even more important as we reach our later years. Being physically active helps us feel and look younger, it helps us remain independent as we get older, and it allows us to continue with our daily activities like cleaning or shopping without feeling uncomfortable. Experts advise that no matter how old we are, we should try to be active for at least 30 minutes every single day.
Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of developing some disabilities and diseases that can form throughout our lifespan. Exercise can even help treat a range of chronic conditions. For example, one recent study shows that people with heart disease, arthritis, or even diabetes can benefit from regular exercise (see more on this below). Lifting weights increases bone density and physical activity in general assists in lowering high blood pressure, helps in correcting balance issues and improves walking difficulties.
Let’s take a look now at the top 7 health benefits and some of the biggest, most important reasons we should exercise as we age.
1. Reduce your dementia risk
A recent study conducted by the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease states that leading a sedentary lifestyle in later years can increase your risk of developing dementia. This study analysed over 1,600 seniors over a five-year period and found that those who exercised regularly were not as likely to develop dementia compared to those who didn’t.
2. Reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke
You can boost your overall health and increase blood flow to the heart with any regular cardiovascular exercise, such as cycling, swimming, brisk walking, or even light housework, basically anything that raises your heart rate.
3. Prevent falls
You can improve your balance and reduce the possibility of having a fall by building muscle strength. This also helps to improve bone density which in turn can reduce your risk of a fractured hip. Trust me, no one wants that!
4. More independence and confidence
Exercise leads to an improved mental state which in turn makes us happier and more confident. Exercise also helps boost your confidence in your physical ability to lift or move items around the home without injuring yourself, according to a recent study conducted by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
5. Delay or prevent diseases
Chronic Conditions can be effectively remedied through the use of exercise. A recent study shows that those with diabetes, arthritis and heart disease benefit from being regularly active. This in turn, helps to keep cholesterol levels down, which can reduce the risk of a stroke or having a heart attack.
6. Improve bone density
The National Osteoporosis Society states that osteoporosis will cause at least one broken bone in one out of every five men and one in every two women. To prevent this, weight bearing activities such as jogging or even walking help with increasing bone strength and reduce the risk of developing fractures from osteoporosis.
7. Live longer & happier
Living a sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading causes of death, according to the World Health Organisation. Even light exercise such as walking regularly can increase your lifespan by an additional 3-5 years! How good does that sound?
One of the best things about exercise is that there are an unending number of ways to be active. You can do short bursts of exercise such as choosing to take the stairs instead of the lift, going for a couple of short walks each day, raking leaves, or even cleaning your home. The best part about all of these activities is that they are completely free! You could also check out an exercise video from the library, online or use the fitness facility at your local community centre. So with all the potential health benefits, why not get started on improving your health today?!
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