Exercise Among Older People: The Value of Physical Activity

As people age, they are more likely to experience a decrease in muscle mass, bone density, and physical activity. For instance, per a study, one-third of men and half of women engage in no physical activity by age 75. Doctors suggest can lead to several problems, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. But, studies have shown that regular exercise can help offset these risks. It can eventually improve the quality of life for elderly people.

This blog post will explore the benefits of physical activity for older adults. We hope that by reading this post, you will be encouraged to get up and move! So, let’s get started.

Prevents Diseases and Disabilities

Regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of developing many chronic diseases and disabilities, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and arthritis. A recent study showed that brisk walking for just 30 minutes a day could reduce the risk of stroke by as much as 54%.

In addition to reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases, exercise can also help improve the quality of life for people with chronic conditions. For example, research has shown that exercise can help improve the health of individuals suffering from heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.

Your family physician, who has complete knowledge of your current and past medical history, will be the best person to advise you on which exercises you should perform.

For example, if you are suffering from heart conditions, they will likely advise you on low-intensity exercises that do not put too much strain on your heart. Similarly, if you are suffering from arthritis, they will advise you on exercises that don’t strain your bones and joints.

Improves Mental Health

Physical activity is not only good for the body, but it’s also good for the mind. Physical exercise has proven to improve mental health. It reduces stress, enhances mood, and increases self-esteem. This is very important in the elderly stage. One study showed that older adults who participated in regular physical activity were less likely to experience depression.

Besides its mood-boosting effects, exercise can also help improve cognitive function. A recent study showed that older adults who engaged in regular physical activity had a lower risk of dementia.

Increases Life Expectancy

Not only can exercise improve the quality of life, but it can also extend it. Studies have shown that physically active people have a lower risk of premature death. One study showed that regular exercise could increase life expectancy by up to five years.

So, if you wish to live longer, do keep exercising daily. You can ask for recommendations from your doctor about the exercises right for you. If you don’t have a family doctor, you can search for a nearby primary care physician online. They’ll examine you and provide you with a personalized primary care program, including the exercises that can help you live a prolonged, fit, and happy life.

Enhances Social Engagement

As people enter old age, their social interaction becomes limited or diminished completely. This can create a significant impact on their mental as well as physical health. This can cause great concern for people who had an active social life earlier.

In addition to its physical and mental health benefits, exercise can also help improve social engagement. A recent study showed that older adults who participated in group exercise classes were likelier to report improvements in social functioning.

Improves Cognitive Functions

As people age, their cognitive capabilities deteriorate. For instance, many elderly people have issues with remembering things or focusing their attention on an item for a long time.

Research has also shown that physical activity can help improve cognitive function in older adults. One study showed that six months of regular exercise could improve memory and thinking skills in adults over 50.

You can ask a medicare doctor near you to provide you with physical exercises that can also stimulate the brain and, in turn, help improve cognitive functions.

Reduces the Risk of Falls

Falls are a common problem among older adults and can lead to serious injuries. However, exercise can help reduce the risk of falls by improving balance and muscle strength. One study showed that Tai Chi, a form of exercise that involves slow, graceful movements, could reduce the risk of falls by up to 31%.

Similarly, you can also try exercises like weight shifting, heel-toe walking, leg raises, foot rotations, and others that can help reduce the risk of falls and minimize injuries from a fall. 

However, consult a nearby doctor or find a doctor online who can recommend the best exercises for you based on your age, medical issues, and other factors.

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