For us to have a healthy and active lifestyle, exercise is one of the best ways of keeping our energy levels up while also maintaining our muscles and bones in a fully functional condition. But even though exercise can help keep our body in a peak condition, various factors can affect our body’s performance. Some of these factors include nutrition, diet, lifestyle, environmental factors, sex, and age.
But one of the significant influencers that can affect how much of our body works and performs is aging. Let’s face it: aging is a certainty in life that affects everyone. As the decades pass, we will experience noticeable changes to our body, especially when it comes to our bone structure and our muscles. As we grow older, the structure of our bones becomes weaker, and our muscles wear out easily. Of course, this is just a normal part of the aging process and will happen to almost everyone eventually.
But even though aging is an unavoidable part of life and part of our body’s natural process, that doesn’t mean that we can neglect our body just because it will get weaker as time progresses. It’s still essential that we take steps in helping our body and helping elderly individuals take steps in maintaining their bone and muscle health. Remember: taking the initiative towards having a healthy lifestyle is vital in enjoying a more wholesome and healthier life. Here’s what you’ll need to know.
The Importance of Exercise Among Seniors
But before we discuss some essential exercises that can help maintain bone and muscle performance, we’ll need first to identify the benefits of exercise to the body.
Contrary to what most people think, exercise is more than just keeping our body in shape and building up our muscles. Although there’s no problem maintaining a well-chiseled body, exercise is also about keeping your body in good condition to perform daily tasks without issues. Many forms of exercise aim to strengthen different muscle groups and maintain the “structural integrity” of your bones, which can help reduce risks of falling and tripping. Physical hazards are known for being one of the most prevalent causes of injuries for many older adults.
Additionally, exercising is an excellent way of mitigating many health complications primarily linked to aging, such as hypertension, arthritis, and various cardiovascular diseases.
Still, most medical professionals would caution most individuals that are taking care of seniors of the following risks when exercising:
- Specific forms of high-impact exercise are known for causing harm and potential injury among older adults. Low-impact exercises are recommended for many seniors.
- Some exercises can increase the likelihood of falling injuries.
- Strenuous exercises and core workouts can stress out the heart, especially those that have heart conditions.
- Individuals with mobility problems can find exercises that require a good range of motion painful, which can then lead to injuries.
- Some types of muscles can atrophy, which can make it more challenging for seniors to lift weights.
- A high risk of fracturing bones means that professional help is needed for many of these exercises.
Since there are many risks associated with exercising for many older adults, experts and professionals who are well-versed with providing the proper exercise among seniors must be present. Fortunately, you won’t have to look far since there are home care services staffed with trained and licensed home health aides that will keep in mind the overall health of these seniors and help with whatever task they need.
But other than getting professional help, what are some low-impact exercises that most older adults can safely do? Here’s what you’ll need to know.
One of the most effective and practical exercises that older adults can engage in is gardening. Although it might seem like a simple task that anybody can do, the process of digging up plants, pulling out unwanted weeds, and lifting watering cans can burn up a good amount of calories.
Not only will this be a good way of burning up calories, but this is also a great way of breathing in the fresh air that can cleanse the lungs and relieve stress.
Lastly, one of the tried and tested ways of keeping older adults busy and active is through dancing. This is known for being a great way of burning excess calories while training muscles for various motions. Although, it’s vital to instruct older adults only to do dances that are low-impact since many types of dances will affect the body and the heart.
No matter what age we are, exercise will always be necessary to stay healthy and fit. Although aging might have slowed down different parts of our body, that doesn’t mean that we should stop living an active lifestyle. Since most individuals will have more time to do what they want during their golden years, it’s only logical that exercise should be one priority.
Still, it’s essential to keep in mind that we should listen to our bodies. Remember: just because you’re feeling pain when you’re exercising doesn’t necessarily translate to progress.