Studies show that almost half of folks older than 75 get little physical activity and because even moderate activity can make a big difference in overall energy levels and motivation don’t let your age put you off.
It doesn’t take hours a day of activity to result in better health, either, becoming more physically active can prevent some health problems (such as osteoporosis) and help better manage others, like diabetes and high blood pressure.
The increased flexibility and balance helps the older individual remain independent longer, too. A few minutes spent stretching in the mornings upon awakening can limber up muscles and joints so that it’s easier to move throughout the day.
Muscle strengthening activity increases bone mass and protects against falls. Walking is the easiest and best aerobic activity, if a person is mobile. You don’t have to spend hours or even 30 minutes at a time walking-you can break it up in to small chunks of time, such as 5 or 10 minute segments.
Even gardening and working around the house counts as exercise when we’re talking about muscle and bone-strengthening; it’s weight-bearing exercise that makes a difference in the strength of your bones and the elasticity of your muscles.
Just getting up and moving throughout the day – doing light household chores helps one stay healthier. Exercise boosts the immune system and keeps one healthier during the winter months.
What are some benefits from light to moderate exercise for seniors?
- Improved mood and quality of life
- Improvement in arthritis
- Improved sleep
- Protects against heart disease
- Facilitates the ability to get around or dress oneself
The mobility and functioning of frail and very old adults can be improved by regular physical activity. Physical activity need not be strenuous to bring health benefits. What is important is to include activity as part of a regular routine.
Exercise can help you feel better and enjoy life more. No one is too old or too out of shape to be more active.
Get the grand kids involved in batting a balloon back and forth to great-grandma, or take them to the zoo and walk around. If mobility is less-than-ideal, keep them around the house and play outside for short periods of time. Grand kids will keep you young-both in spirit and body. So take advantage of their energy levels and get yourself moving!