Why Exercise Is Important As You Age

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Aging is a natural part of life, and as the years go by, our bodies will go through a variety of different changes that can mean our health and mobility suffer. However, although we might not be able to stop the clock (as much as we’d like to), there are some things we can do that will help us stay as healthy as possible as we get older. One of those things is regular exercise. 

There are many reasons why older people should keep doing exercises, and as long as those exercises are appropriate for their level of fitness and mobility, then there is no reason to stop – in fact, continuing is the best thing you can do. With that in mind, read on to find out why this is, as it might motivate you to exercise more. 

Maintain Physical Strength And Mobility 

senior exercise

As we age, our muscles and bones get weaker. This is a natural thing that happens to everyone, and it means they lose strength and potentially some mobility as well. The issue is that this can lead to not being about to enjoy life as much; going out can become a problem, and even walking to the local store can become a chore. 

When you do regular exercise, you might not be able to stop these weaknesses from happening altogether, but you may be able to slow them down or make them less serious, ensuring that you can still go about your usual life in the way you want to, or in a very slightly modified way. 

Strength training exercises like lifting weights or using resistance bands are especially useful, as these will help to build muscle and keep it at a good level. On top of that, these exercises can improve your balance, reducing your risk of falling. You could also try swimming or walking (or other aerobic exercises), as these will increase your overall mobility. You need to do what you’re comfortable doing and not push yourself too hard, but you must try to do something at least a few times a week. 

Boosting Cognitive Function And Mental Health 

Exercise doesn’t just benefit our physical health as we get older, but it also has a big positive impact on our mental health and cognitive function. Research suggests that regular physical activity can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, boost your mood and make you feel generally much better. This is down to the endorphins that are produced when you exercise; these are known as ‘feel good hormones,’ and they make you feel happy and relaxed ; and therefore you’ll be less stressed. 

As well as this studies have also shown that exercise can improve cognitive function and memory, and this could reduce the risk of age-related cognitive issues like dementia. Of course, exercise won’t stop such conditions completely, so looking into long-term memory care in Eureka, MO is the best option to make sure you’re prepared for the future. 

Managing Weight 

It’s always a good idea to maintain a healthy weight throughout our lives, and sometimes this is not an easy thing to do. However, as we get older, it actually becomes harder because our hormones and metabolism change, and that can lead to problems losing weight (and make it easier to gain weight at the same time). On top of this, appetites often drop off so losing too much weight or too quickly can also be a problem. 

Because of this, regular exercise becomes vital to help you keep your weight under control and stay healthy. Excess weight can lead to heart disease, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and problems with mobility (which makes exercise even harder), so it’s crucial to do what you can to ease the issue and keep your weight as steady as you can. 

Social Connections 

It seems as though when we’re very young, we have dozens of friends all around us, but as the years go by, that number gets smaller and smaller, and by the time we’re in our old age, we might not really have anyone around that we see on a regular basis. Although this might seem like the usual thing, it’s not healthy, and isolation is a major cause of mental health problems in older people

Exercise can help with this problem. If you join a gym or an exercise class, for example, you’ll be able to see other people on a regular basis. You don’t have to become best friends with them or see them outside of the class if you don’t want to (although you certainly can if you do want to!), but even this little bit of socializing will be good for you, and if you’re exercising at the same time, that’s even better. 

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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