It’s a given that daily exercise is important and beneficial to people of all ages. With that being said, it’s even more imperative to stay physically active as we age. Whether it’s cardio exercise, such as biking, brisk walking, or dancing; or muscle strengthening, such as dumbbell or free weights, elastic bands, squats, or crunches; the CDC recommends that all adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.
As one gets older, the health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle grow greater. Daily exercise and general physical activity assist seniors both in their physical and mental health. Here are 4 benefits of daily exercise for seniors:
1. Disease Prevention
Many studies point to daily physical activity and exercise as an important aid in preventing several diseases that come especially with age— such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even dementia. Exercise improves immune function, which is essential to seniors since their immune systems are typically weaker and more easily compromised. Light exercise such as walking daily can be a key tool in warding off the onset of chronic diseases.
2. Improvement In Mental Health
Exercise is a highly recommended activity to maintain one’s mental health. Engaging in physical activity allows the body to produce many “feel-good” hormones, such as endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine— all of which help with pain and stress relief, and mood regulation.
3. Cognitive Function Improvement
There are many scientific studies out there that imply that regular exercise and physical activity may benefit cognitive function. These studies also suggest that physically active individuals, including seniors, have a lower risk of dementia compared to their less active, sedentary counterparts.
There are many opportunities for seniors to enjoy exercise and physical activity in a group setting. Whether it’s a fitness class, a walking group, or a gardening club, exercise can easily be a seemingly effortless and fun social event. Socializing is very important for seniors to aid in their mental health and cognitive function, so group exercises are possibly the best route for seniors to take to maintain both their physical and mental health.