Despite exercising and keeping fit being as important at retirement age than any other, many elderly people instead choose a more sedentary lifestyle in their golden years. In fact, just one out of four people between the ages of 65 and 74 exercises regularly, and some believe it could be due to older people feeling more fragile, have less strength, or are simply not well enough to maintain an active lifestyle. But no matter what age you are, exercising is one of the best ways to improve your health and overall quality of life.
Enhance your quality of life
People of all ages can benefit from a daily exercise regimen, and the same applies to senior citizens. If you’re in your golden years, it’s likely that you may not be keen on running a marathon anytime soon. But even simple exercises will make a difference in your quality of life, no matter if you’re living at home or staying at an assisted living facility with other seniors.
Helps you maintain a healthy weight
Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, and even simple walking can burn off extra calories. A new study shows that obese seniors are at a greater risk of death than their younger counterparts. Moreover, obese seniors fail to make it to the age of 65. Doing some brisk walking even just 20 minutes a day can help you maintain a healthy body mass index. Being at a healthy weight also helps give you ease of body movement, allowing you to continue doing the things that you like to do.
Improves your mood
Exercise can also improve your mood as regular physical activity triggers your body’s release of endorphins, the chemicals that promote a positive feeling. Seniors who experience loneliness or anxiety every now and then may also benefit from the regular physical activity. According to sport and exercise psychologist J. Kip Matthews, Ph.D., exercise may help to ward off depression and anxiety by improving the body’s ability to respond to stress. Just 20 minutes of yoga or walking every day can help to keep you positive and ward of feelings of loneliness.
It can be fun
Regular exercise can also be a source of fun. Going on a short walk with a group of friends is one way to be social while getting healthy at the same time, and doing some physical activity is also a change of pace for older people who are used to a sedentary lifestyle. If you’re living at home with your family, one of the best ways to exercise is to take a walk or jog around the block with your loved ones, or perhaps you can go swimming in the community pool for a low-impact workout.
If you’re living in an assisted living facility, you can take part in the community’s wellness and fitness programs. If for some reason you’re impaired from doing regular exercises, there are other things that you can do to get your daily endorphin rush. Here are some simple exercises that you can do to stay active and improve your health.
- Do simple stretching exercises while you’re standing up or sitting down. Stretch your arms and your legs, and take deep breaths while doing so. Stretching improves flexibility and will give you an increased range of motion.
- Exercise to improve your balance. While holding on to the back of a chair, practice balancing on one foot.
- Improve your coordination by practicing stepping over things, such as the lines on the floor of your room.
If you have no trouble getting around, there are a lot of other things that you can do stay in good health. Brisk walking, doing yoga, dancing, swimming, aqua aerobics, and tai-chi are all good activities that will benefit you in the long run. No matter what your age or situation that you’re in, there’s always a way to stay active and keep moving. Do a form of physical activity each day for a healthier and happier you.