5 Vital Ways Staying Active Helps Seniors Thrive
Thinking about how to best care for an elderly adult? Whether that person is yourself, a parent, or another aging loved one, understand that one of the greatest opportunities you have will be focusing on physical exercise. Being active regularly can enhance every aspect of a senior’s life. Read on for the top reasons why exercise is so important for seniors.
- Routine Movement Builds Up the Aging Body
Simply put, keeping the body in motion is one of the most effective strategies for keeping it healthy. Physical exercise increases good things like strength, mobility, balance, coordination, agility, and flexibility. At the same time, it decreases some bad things – blood pressure, poor circulation, breathing difficulties, atrophied muscles, and arthritis pain, plus vulnerability to and the hazards of falls, chronic conditions, and illness and more.
- An Exercise Program Advances Healing in an Elderly Person
Recovery takes longer as we age, but incorporating a physical regimen can speed up the process. Research shows that the wounds of active adults heal as much as 25 percent faster than adults who do not exercise. Don’t wait for an incident to strike. By starting an exercise program now, you or your aging loved one will appreciate the reward of a faster and easier healing process following an injury, a surgical procedure, or another debilitating episode.
- Exercise Expands Seniors’ Mental Capacity
Consistent activity positively affects the mind, too, and it’s directly linked to slowing the process of mental decline. People who stay active stimulate blood flow to every part of their body, which, of course, includes their brain. This blood flow then nourishes healthy cell growth. It may not seem obvious initially, but by motivating an elderly person to get physical exercise, you are also encouraging improved cognitive functioning, memory, and overall mental health.
- Moving About Boosts Your Mood
Another major benefit of exercise for seniors – and everyone – is its ability to brighten a person’s outlook on life. We advise learning to recognize stress and other emotional problems, and often recommend physical activity as one of the best healthy habits to implement, to relieve them. Exerting yourself physically releases endorphins, which can aid in lessening feelings of depression, flush out stress hormones and lift your mood. If you know someone who suffers from mood swings or depression, prioritizing regular movement may help redirect their negative thoughts and support them significantly.
- A Physically Active Senior Is a Socially Active Senior
Many people consider exercise a social event, finding workouts with companions fun, and a method for staying determined and accountable. That’s demonstrated daily in our senior living communities, where residents gain the numerous, surprising benefits of socializing – frequently while also engaging on a physical level. Relationships and Health are listed #1 and #2 on the “5 Pillars of Well-Being” we consider essential for aging adults to flourish. Any seniors who take the opportunity to simultaneously connect and exercise have the advantage in both of those categories!
What Are the Top Exercises for Older Adults?
You’ll be pleased to know that to yield the benefits discussed above, physical exercise can be as gentle and basic as just getting off the couch, stretching, and moving around the home. Take it a step further with more dynamic activities such as walking, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, Sit & Fit Aerobics, and dance classes. Working out on gym equipment and doing strength training are two more possibilities. Whether standing or seated, alone or with a friend or group, start or look for senior-focused fitness programs matched to the individual’s ability.
Count on a First-Class Senior Living Expert
Cardinal Bay provides resort-style independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities in Texas and Oklahoma. In a spirited, relationship-centered environment, our residents stay active and engaged, enjoying a wealth of stimulating activities and daily social interactions that enrich their health, happiness, and longevity.
Be sure to tour the communities you like and speak with staff members and residents to guarantee you have all the vital information in hand to make the best decision. Subscribe to our blog.