The Benefits of Exercise For Older Adults in Later Life
No matter how old we are, exercise is essential to good health. It has more benefits than most people even realise, and when to comes to the benefits of exercise for older adults, it's even more important. Despite this, however,r the benefits of exercise for older adults is also something that's not talked about much either.
Exercise can be done at any age if you do it in the right way. It’s never too late or too early to start, and there are so many different ways that you can do it. All you need to do is find out what works for you as an individual, and you’ll enjoy it just as much as you would everything else in life. It gives you that feel-good feeling, inside and out, and it helps you to live a happier, healthier life. What could be better!
Here are just a few ways that it can help anyone of any age.
First and foremost, one of the biggest benefits of exercise is with your cardiovascular health. It's vital at any age to have good cardiovascular health, but as an older adult, it's even more essential. It's what keeps the heart healthy, blood pressure regulated, and just generally makes us healthy!
Cardiovascular health can always be better no matter how healthy you are, so for exercise in later life especially, it is so important that you get the right amount and keep in the best shape that you can do!
Balance and stability
As you get older and start to wind down in life more, your muscle mass can deteriorate a little. It's completely natural, and it happens to everyone; that's just how ageing works. As your muscle does reduce though, it can have some negative effects on the body.
Exercise in later life is a great thing to prevent these effects and keep you on track to a healthy lifestyle. Your balance and general ability will remain in their prime so that you are ready for whatever life throws at you!
On the same kind of scale as the point above, life, in general, can take its toll on the joints as well as muscle mass. The older you are, there more time you've spent moving, and wearing the joints away. It makes sense, and again, it's a completely natural thing to happen. The same for your bone density too. Exercise again steps in to save the day though.
The more that you can exercise properly, the more muscle and tendon health you'll retain which play a huge part in protecting your joints from this damage. It's almost like an added layer of protection from your joints and what’s wearing them away. This makes it great for arthritis too if you can manage some light exercises. In fact, one of the biggest benefits of exercise for older adults is actually an increase in bone density which helps too.
Social and mental benefits
Outside of the more physical benefits of exercise for older adults, it’s also important to remember what it can do for you on a more social and mental scale. Exercising is a great way to get out and about, or to get sociable in your own home!
Exercising in a class or with friends and family members is awesome at keeping you motivated and making exercise more fun while still benefitting you both! With loneliness becoming more common too, it can also be an incredible way for you to fight your own boredom or loneliness, or help to fight someone else's and do a great thing for the community!
Ways to get started
So now that you know what exercise can do for the body, what will you do to get started? There are a lot of options for you to consider when starting your exercise journey, and chances are, you won’t find what you love doing straight away.
The best thing to do for anyone starting exercise is to start slowly. Don't jump in at the deep end and don't do something that you know you won't enjoy, but do something that really takes your fancy, the world is your oyster.
Some great ways to get started are:
Walking is often a big part of life, and it can help to bridge exercise to everyday life. Even just getting out of the house for 20 minutes a day by walking somewhere you'd usually drive or taking your dog for a walk can really help to make positive changes in your life. It's one of the easiest ways to exercise in later life, and it's a favourite for a lot of people!
Swimming is an interesting choice that again is incredibly popular with a huge range of benefits for older adults and even young children alike. Putting yourself into water means that gravity is reduced and so is a lot of the pressure that you put on your body through exercise.
The weightlessness that the water offers mean that your joints can do a lot more, a lot easier than you could do in other exercises. This makes it a great way to protect yourself and get the ball rolling while still providing a full body workout.
Aerobics is a form of exercise that you can do in a range of settings. From the comfort of your own home or at an exercise class, you can do what you're most comfortable with and get the best from your training. Step aerobics is an excellent place to start without equipment, but there are so many options to consider that you can do whatever you feel like.
All aerobics offer a good calorie burn with a very low impact on muscle and joints, and it will really help to increase your lower body strength and cardiovascular health, as well as your flexibility.
No matter what you are doing, there are benefits to exercise in later life. It is, however, essential to remember to stay within your means and just to try your best. You will be happier and feel healthier for it, so try to find something you love, and it will soon become something you want to do rather than something to keep you healthy. Keep safe by arming up and not overexerting yourself, and make sure that you warm up and cool down after the hard work!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.