Staying healthy and getting moving is important at every stage of life, and especially for seniors. While it may seem difficult, it’s something that can be accomplished. After all, age is just a number, and a healthy and active lifestyle can be achieved despite the presence of disability, past injury or low fitness levels.
Why Stay Active?
No matter what age, exercise will help to improve strength and mobility. Inactive seniors tend to suffer from atrophied muscles, poor balance, trouble breathing and are more easily injured. Doing simple exercises can help prevent all of these issues. There are also studies that being active can decrease the risk of certain diseases that seniors are more susceptible to, such as colorectal cancer. In fact, many forms of cancer have obesity or sedentary lifestyles as a risk factor.
In fact, eliminating the risk of obesity can also decrease risks of other disease, such as heart disease which is the leading killer in the U.S.
Injuries may happen in your day to day life, but did you know that the healing process takes longer as we get older? It is estimated that active seniors can heal as much as 25 percent faster than those who don’t exercise.
Groups and circles of friends can change as we age. But, it is vital to form connections and relationships with other people. Taking a class, walking outside with a group or playing golf with friends can give you time to chat and interact with others. Keeping fit in a group can be much more fun and may help to keep you motivated!
Keeping a sharp mental state is important to your quality of life. Study after study has proven that regular exercise can improve brain function. Exercise helps to stimulate growth in the brain that affects brain cell health and encourages the growth of new blood vessels in the brain.
Exercise also helps to improve mood and sleep. It can reduce stress and even prevent factors that contribute to cognitive impairment.
Fun Activities for Seniors
Senior Activity Classes
Community centers and local organizations often have classes and events just for seniors. Be sure to look around at local community calendars for exercise classes, golf events, dance classes or anything else that will get you up and moving.
Walk Your Pet
A cat or a dog is a great companion, especially for seniors. They’re loyal and they provide comfort. But, did you know they can also be a good exercise partner? Consider taking your pet for a walk around the block or playing fetch in the back yard. You’ll feel great and your pet will love you for it!
Use Walking Trails or Paths
More and more greenways and bike paths are popping up across local communities everywhere. Take advantage of these areas, as flat, shaded paths are the perfect areas to get moving in the fresh air.
Swimming and water aerobics are a low-impact way of working all of your muscle groups. In addition, it has even been found to improve bone density. This type of activity is perfect for those with arthritis, and previous shoulder, hip, and ankle injuries.
Is Physical Activity Enough?
Some people are morbidly obese, or have a condition that prevents them maintaining a healthy weight. If staying active is difficult to you from a condition like this, bariatric surgery may be necessary for you to maintain a healthy weight and stay active. It’s important to know that weight loss surgery isn’t meant for people who just want to lose weight quick; it’s meant for serious conditions. If you believe you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery, contact Dr. Sachse by calling (571) 512-5300.