While slowing down a little is a natural part of aging, it’s no excuse for being inactive. As a matter of fact, researchers continue to find evidence that an inactive lifestyle will actually make you age faster. A study published just last year that focused on elderly women found that those with a sedentary lifestyle had cells that were biologically older than their actual age—8 years older.
Why Even a Little Exercise is Important for Senior Care
Physical activity is important at every age and becomes even more important as you get older. The benefits of exercise for your health and quality of life, especially in old age are innumerable. Here are just a few of the benefits that make physical activity such an important part of senior care:
- It helps you stay independent longer
- It improves your balance
- It reduces your risk of falls and injuries
- It helps prevent disease, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes
- It lowers your risk of premature death
Getting out and enjoying activities has also been shown to improve mood and lower the risk of depression—something many seniors are at risk of.
Getting Active as You Age
Aches and pains, chronic illness, and other realities of aging can zap anyone’s motivation to get out and move, but this doesn’t make it any less important. You don’t need to get an expensive gym membership or participate in intense exercise to reap all the health benefits. Just getting out for a walk every day, attending a soft aerobics class, or even participating in seated exercises for 30 minutes each day can make all the difference.
If you or your aging parent isn’t getting enough exercise because of physical challenges or difficulty getting out and about, a professional senior care provider can help in a few ways. A senior caregiver can accompany you on walks or to and from exercise classes and other activities. The time you spend being active either in a group environment, such as classes at a senior’s community center, or just out for a walk with your senior care provider, is also time that you’re being social. It’s a win-win for your body and mind!
Some ideas to get you moving:
- Take a walk
- Join a mall walking program
- Take a dance class
- Take a senior’s fitness class at a community center
- Participate in a seated exercise/chair exercise class if you have mobility issues
- Do a workout video at home using a DVD or computer
Every step counts. Even if you’re not active now, adding just a few minutes of physical activity to your day is a step in the right direction. Give us a call to learn more about how one of our qualified senior care specialists can help ensure that you get out and get active for better health.
David Porter, CPCA
Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care
Associations of Accelerometer-Measured and Self-Reported Sedentary Time With Leukocyte Telomere Length in Older Women. https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/185/3/172/2915786
Physical activity tips for older adults (65 years and older). https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/health-promotion/healthy-living/physical-activity/physical-activity-tips-older-adults-65-years-older.html