5 Benefits of Exercise for Seniors
As we age, it’s important to keep our bodies active and healthy. Exercise has countless benefits, including improving strength and balance, reducing the risk of falls, and helping to prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Let’s take a closer look at five ways that exercise can help seniors improve their overall health.
1. Improves Strength and Balance
As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass and bone density. This can lead to a decrease in strength and balance, which can in turn lead to an increased risk of falls. Exercise helps to counteract this by building muscle mass and improving balance. Tai chi is a particularly good form of exercise for seniors, as it combines gentle movements with deep breathing to improve strength and balance.
2. Reduces the Risk of Falls
Falls are a leading cause of injuries in seniors. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four adults aged 65 or over will fall each year. Exercise can help reduce the risk of falls by improving strength and balance (as we mentioned above). It’s also important to make sure that your home is free from trip hazards such as loose rugs or electrical cords.
3. Helps Prevent Chronic Diseases
Chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are responsible for seven out of ten deaths in the US each year, according to the CDC. Exercise can help prevent these diseases by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels. It’s never too late to start exercising—even small amounts of physical activity can have health benefits.
4. Boosts Energy Levels
If you find yourself feeling tired all the time, exercise can help give you a much-needed energy boost. Research has shown that regular physical activity can increase energy levels in seniors by up to 20 percent. And it doesn’t take hours at the gym—a brisk walk around the block or some simple stretching exercises can do the trick.
5. Improves Mental Health
Exercise isn’t just good for your physical health—it’s also good for your mental health. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while also improving sleep quality and cognitive function. So if you’re feeling down in the dumps, get up and get moving! A little exercise can go a long way towards improving your mental well-being.
Exercise is crucial for seniors not only in terms of preventing falls and chronic diseases but also for boosting energy levels and improving mental health. Tai chi is a great form of exercise for seniors as it is low impact yet still effective in terms of building strength and improving balance. Even if you are not able to commit to regular exercise, there are still many things you can do to stay active such as taking a brisk walk around the block or doing some simple stretching exercises at home. Whatever you do, just make sure that you stay moving!