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The Benefits of Physical Activity for the Elderly

The Benefits of Physical Activity for the Elderly

It is no secret that physical activity is a key ingredient to your overall health and well-being. For the elderly, it becomes more difficult to remain active, but it is no less important. Your physical activity will change as you age, however, any type of physical activity can have huge health benefits. The Center for Disease Control encourages activity stating that even those with chronic illnesses can benefit from even 60 minutes a week of moderately intense aerobic exercise (consult your doctor concerning your specific exercise regimen). Beyond the obvious benefits of healthier muscles and bones and weight maintenance–here are 3 additional benefits of remaining physically active:

1. Improve your Mood. According to Harvard Health, exercise can even help reduce the symptoms of depression. Exercise releases endorphins, which results in an improved mood. Endorphins also boost natural immunity and reduce the perception of pain. These health benefits may be seen with 3-5 days of moderate exercise a week. But, perhaps, the most important way to improve your mood through exercise is to choose physical activities you enjoy. If you don’t like to work out in a gym then grab a friend and go for a walk. Exercise doesn’t have to look the same for everyone.

2. Prevent Falls. For the elderly, continuing to exercise is paramount to their health and safety. The number one way to help reduce the risk of falling in the elderly is to strengthen muscles and bones on a daily basis. Incorporate activities that work on balance, such as Tai Chi.

3. Live Longer. CDC reports, “Science shows that physical activity can reduce your risk of dying early from the leading causes of death, like heart disease and some cancers.” We all want to live longer, but we also want to live healthier, remaining physically active into your 80s and 90s is the best way for the elderly to do just that. 

Physical activity can help make the elderly healthier, happier, and safer. Contact your doctor to help come up with an exercise plan that fits your lifestyle. If you are looking for someone to provide you with the encouragement you need to follow a exercise plan, contact a Preferred Care at Home location near you.

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