Failing to keep active as we get older can have far greater consequences for our health than just gaining weight or developing stiff joints. It can also have a significant effect on our mental well-being. If we move around less then we are likely to get out of the house less often and, therefore, will be socialising less often. This can all lead to feelings of worthlessness and anxiety that could ultimately result in depression. So it’s for that very reason that staying active is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health at every age but especially as we get older.
Physical Inactivity Affects Our Mental Well-Being
Of course, it is only to be expected that as we get older our physical capabilities will diminish. However, just because we may no longer be able to run 5km or spend an hour at the gym doesn’t mean we can’t take part in other physical activities such as walking or swimming, Pilates or yoga. There are many fitness tips for seniors that can help you keep fit in mind and body because becoming less active is not an inevitable part of growing older, even though many people use their age as an excuse for slowing down.
Whatever your own personal situation it is important to understand that being inactive will have a negative effect on both your body and your mental well-being. Therefore, as we become older it makes sense to view good health as a combination of physical and mental health.
Living alone, as so many people do, can be a lonely experience, which also affects mental well-being but making a decision to stay active provides opportunities to see and talk to more people, thus helping to alleviate the loneliness to a certain extent. There are classes at most gyms and leisure centres aimed at all ages and all levels of physical fitness so there really is no excuse – why not get a friend to go along with you. Or if a class doesn’t appeal to you instead simply try to go for a walk every day, again with a friend or neighbour.
Symptoms of Depression
If you think you may not be in the best mental health then take a look at these symptoms of mental health issues and depression and speak to your doctor to get the help you need:
- Feeling anxious all the time
- Having low self-esteem
- Crying often
- Lacking motivation to do simple tasks
- Thinking of harming yourself
- Feeling suicidal
Get Help & Support
There are many ways in which you can get practical help staying active and also emotional support if you are experiencing mental health issues. In the first instance talk to your doctor to find out what help is available locally. Did you know, for instance, that using a home care service involves a dedicated carer coming to your home to help and encourage you to overcome any physical limitations that are preventing you from being active? Home carers can provide both physical and emotional support to improve your physical and mental health. Find solutions of your health problems, here.
Getting out of the house on a regular basis for the simple pleasures of some fresh air and seeing nature will boost your spirits and, you never know, you may meet some new friends.