Many people become less active with age and there are many reasons why we tend to slow down. Some reasons for becoming more sedentary with age can be to do with health issues, pain issues, and weight gain – and for some older people it can be the worry of falling. Many people think that exercise isn’t suitable to take part in when you are older.
Being active and having a healthy lifestyle is more important than ever for our health as we get older. It can help with weight management and symptoms of pain and illness. Keeping active can protect against disease and lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s, dementia, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, and obesity. Keeping active will help you maintain or lose weight.
Regular physical activity helps you look and feel younger and stay independent longer. Participating in regular exercise is good for your mental and physical health. It can help with the mind, memory, mood and boost your energy levels, improves sleep and self-confidence.
Regular exercises that build strength and stamina prevent loss of bone mass and improve balance and coordination. Getting moving can help you manage pain and improve your strength and self-confidence. Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, balance, coordination and posture – which in turn will help reduce the risk of falls.
Where to start
Get medical clearance from your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition. A health professional can help you create a workout plan that suits your specific needs and goals.
Many people think they are too old to start exercising. The fact is you are never too old to get moving and improve your health. Research shows that adults who become active in later life often show greater improvements and health benefits than their younger counterparts. If you have never exercised before, or it’s been a while just begin with gentle activities and build up slowly over time. Try different activities to find something you enjoy. The important thing is to be realistic and take into consideration any limitations or health ailments that you may currently have.
If you have a disability and are unsure of exercise then seek the guidance from a health professional who can recommend safe and effective activity or specific exercise. If you are chair bound you may face certain special challenges but can do special chair bound designed exercises , stretches , chair aerobics or lift light weights, chair Tai Chi etc.
It’s essential to support activity levels with the right diet. Diet as well as exercise can have a major impact on mood, energy and fitness. Increase and vary your sources of protein – instead of relying on just red meat, include more poultry, fish, beans, and eggs. Reduce the amount of processed carbohydrates you consume—and replace them with high-quality protein.
As you get older regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help prevent many of the health issues that can come with age. Good general fitness can be achieved in as little as 30 minutes each day. Exercising daily can help prolong your life and improve the quality of it – helping to improve your physical and mental wellbeing – and helping to keep you less dependent on others.
Dal Dhaliwal – www.bodyperfectpt.com
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