When seniors plan their retirement, exercise probably isn’t at the top of their list of things to do. After all, your golden years are supposed to be a time to kick back and relax. However with age working against them, exercise becomes even more critical in a person’s later years.
There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to do the things you once did. For seniors, exercise can not only help them stay active and enjoy a higher quality of life, it can also prevent the onset of chronic disease and lower their chances of injury.
So what types of exercises work best for seniors? Pretty much anything they want, within certain limitations. These guides from Silver Sneakers and from Healthline provide some pretty good examples.
Regular exercise is important for everybody, but seniors face some unique challenges. After we hit our 40’s, our body’s muscle mass declines— as much as 5 percent per decade. Loss of muscle mass leads to complications like degenerative joints and makes us more susceptible to damage from falls.
Healthy body, healthy mind, goes the saying. It’s true for seniors as well. Research has shown that seniors who regularly exercise have a reduced risk of dementia. Even a brisk walk two or three times a week can reduce the chances of dementia by as much as 35 percent.
While a senior can certainly take the initiative and create an exercise program of their own, there are also plenty of resources available to help. For example, the National Council on Aging has a program called the Center for Healthy Aging that connects community organizations to quality exercise programs around the country. It also has valuable information about nutrition and behavioral health.
Great living starts with a healthy lifestyle, and that’s true whether you’re eight or eighty. Check these resources out, but more importantly get out and get some exercise!