The Importance of Exercise for Elderly
It is very important for elderly to stay active. Our muscular mass starts to deteriorate as we get older. Adults can lose 3-5 percent of their muscular mass per decade after they reach their forties. Muscle contributes to our balance and bone strength, as well as keeping us strong. Our movement and independence are jeopardized without it.
Exercise is also important for mental health. After a few weeks of regular exercise, scientists discovered that brain neurons—the special cells that execute all of the vital functions to keep you alive, as well as help you think and improve your memory—all increase. In fact, several studies have showed that walking three or more times a week reduces the risk of dementia by 35% compared to seniors who do not engage in any form of physical activity.
Key Benefits of Exercise
Improved healing and function — Seniors who exercise regularly can cut the time it takes for a wound to recover by 25%. In addition, a healthy, robust body is better able to fight infection and recover from disease or injury.
Disease or chronic condition prevention – According to the National Institute of Aging, senior exercise can help postpone or even prevent diseases such as diabetes, cancer, stroke, heart disease, and osteoporosis, to mention a few.
Increased balance and stability – Falls are the leading cause of injury among the elderly, and regular exercise can assist to prevent them. Falls can result in injuries such as broken hips or other bones, and exercise is an important part of improving functional reach and balance.
Increased life expectancy and improved quality of life – According to new research, seniors who exercise enhance not just their physical fitness but also their mental health. Exercise can help reduce depression symptoms and enhance overall mood. If done on a long-term basis, the enhanced mobility that comes with regular, moderate exercise can help a senior preserve his or her independence. Intensity is less crucial than consistency.
It is never too late for elders to begin exercising on a regular basis. Finding something you enjoy doing and starting at a level that is easy to maintain is the key. At a few sites, American Senior Communities offers New Energy Wellness fitness programs. Visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com/new for additional information.