Older adults who have lived a mostly sedentary life without too many health issues can still benefit from regular exercise. In fact, extensive research involving people in the 50+ age group prove that the number of benefits provided to seniors through exercise is limitless. Even less invigorating activities like an afternoon of gardening or a brisk walk around the block can have noticeable health benefits, so there is little reason for older adults not to at least consider getting a little more active.
Increased Cognitive Functioning
While it makes sense that exercise is going to be beneficial for just about anyone of any age, older adults may also benefit from increased cognitive functioning. A Harvard Study of men and women 55 and older suggests that moderate to high levels of exercise reduced the participants odds of developing dementia symptoms and related conditions by half compared to those in the study who did not exercise on a regular basis. As a leading provider of dementia care in Fort Myers, this fact alone is enough to encourage seniors to exercise on a day-to-day basis,
Natural Immune System Booster
A study published in Integrative Medicine suggests that increased physical activity can help flush “bad bacteria” out of the body, which could reduce the odds of developing colds and other virus-based illnesses. Exercise also produces more antibodies and white blood cells, essentially acting as a natural immune system booster. A comprehensive University of Missouri-Columbia study confirmed the following benefits of exercise for older adults:
- Improved bone density
- Better oxygenation of the blood (helps with heart and brain health)
- Reduced odds of developing osteoporosis
Improved Outlook & Mood
Physical activity is also known to release endorphins, feel-good neurotransmitters that are natural pain and stress relievers. Seniors who are able to participate in a regular exercise routine are able to reap the benefits of these endorphins, which can boost outlook, mood and overall emotional quality of life.
Sticking with an Exercise Regimen
Studies suggest that group support and encouragement from friends and family members can provide an added incentive for older adults to stick to a regular exercise routine. Many community centers have exercise programs specifically for older participants. Similar support can be found from finding a fitness buddy and doing some mall walking or taking a stroll with friends on a beautiful day. If your parent or loved one does not have a fitness buddy and you are unable to accompany them on their daily walk or physical activity, see if a professional caregiver in Fort Myers is available. Caregivers are great companions and can also ensure the safety of your senior loved one as they participate in their exercise routine.
Interested in learning more about senior exercise or senior care? Reach out to a friendly Fort Myers Home Care Assistance Care Manager at 239-449-4701.