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Health Benefits of Fitness for Older Adults

In last week’s blog we debunked fitness myths that often deter older adults from exercising.

Today, we’re going to expand on the topic by discussing exercise’s physical and mental health benefits for the elderly.

It’s important to note that physical activity doesn’t need to be strenuous in order to reap the rewards. In fact, older adults can experience significant benefits from a moderate amount of daily physical activity.

Physical Benefits:

  • If your loved one suffers from hypertension, exercise can help reduce his or her blood pressure.
  • As a person begins to age, the metabolism naturally begins to slow, which makes maintaining a healthy weight a challenge. Exercise can help increase metabolism while building muscle mass, which helps burn more calories.
  • A strong, healthy body can fight off illness and infection more easily and quickly.
  • Exercise protects against bone mass loss. Greater bone density helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • A regular exercise routine promotes digestive health and overall gastrointestinal function.

Mental Benefits:

  • Improves sleep by helping a person fall asleep quicker and sleep deeper.
  • Releases endorphins – powerful chemicals in the brain that create positive feelings and boost a person’s spirits. Exercise has been shown to enhance mood and self-confidence while reducing feelings of sadness or depression.
  • Those same endorphins that make a person feel better can also aid in concentration and overall mental sharpness. Exercise increases the growth of new brain cells, which can help prevent age-related decline.
  • Regular brain function also benefits from exercise and keeps a person’s brain active. This can help prevent memory loss, dementia and cognitive deterioration.

As your loved one ages, an active lifestyle is more important than ever. Regular exercise can help improve his or her physical and mental wellbeing. Remember to consult your elderly family member’s doctor prior to beginning any exercise routine.

Sources:

https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/Exercise-benefits-for-the-Elderly-95383.htm

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/exercise-fitness/exercise-and-fitness-as-you-age.htm

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