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Benefits of Exercise for Older Adults

Benefits of exercise for older adults

Benefits of Exercise for Older Adults

According to the CDC, many of the physical limitations that we attribute to aging, such as loss of strength and stamina, are actually caused by reduced physical activity. Even moderate increases in physical activity can have significant health and wellness benefits for older adults.

Here are some of the ways your older clients can benefit from a regular program of exercise:

Delay or prevent disease

The NIH cites studies showing that people who have arthritis, heart disease or diabetes benefit from regular exercise. They also mention that exercise is beneficial for people with balance problems, difficulty walking, or high blood pressure. Exercise can also help control joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis, and reduce certain cancer and other disease risks.

Improve physical condition

A program of physical activity that includes aerobic and strength training can provide increasing and ongoing health benefits. Experts recommend that people stay as physically active as possible and exercise regularly.

Maintain independence

Exercise can promote stronger muscles and healthier bones and joints. This can help someone have the strength to move around confidently, lessen the risk of falling and fracturing bones, and aid them in accomplishing routine daily tasks. All of these contribute to the ability to live independently.

Encourage social ties

Many communities do an excellent job of establishing programs to encourage older adults to exercise. The social aspect can be especially helpful for maintaining a regular program of exercise. Look for organized senior programs at local malls, community centers, and parks and recreation departments.

Aid cognitive function

Regular physical activity can help improve mood and manage stress and may even help maintain or improve cognitive functions such as the ability to plan activities and switch seamlessly between tasks.

Stay generally active

Among people 65 and older, the most popular physical activities are walking, gardening and yard work, which goes to show that getting some movement in can be as easy and convenient as your lifestyle dictates. Add in some structured exercise such as tai chi, weight training, an aerobics class, yoga, or other planned and repetitive physical activity to increase the benefits and help ensure healthy aging.