Importance of Exercise in the Old Age

Atrayee De
March 02, 2017
Views : 946
Importance of Exercise in the Old Age

As you grow old, your body sort of needs more care than usual. Now, most of us are quite reluctant these days for actually making a conscious effort on staying healthy, therefore to help you identify why you should stay fit, and exercise, I have jotted down some points, after reading which I am sure you would be motivated to work out and be healthy and stay fit.

1. One of the Healthiest Things that You Can Do!

Like most people, you've probably heard that the physical activity and exercise are good for you. In fact, being physically fit or active on a regular basis is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. Studies have often shown that exercise provides many health benefits and that the older adults can gain a lot by actually staying physically active. Even the moderate exercise and physical activity can actually improve the health of people who are quite frail or who have the diseases that accompany the aging.

Being physically active can also help you stay quite strong and fit enough to keep doing the things you like to do as and when you get older. Making exercise and physical activity a regular part of your life as it can actually improve your health and help you maintain your independence as and when you age.

2. Be as Active as Possible

Regular physical activity and the exercise are important to the physical and the mental health of almost everyone, including the older adults. Staying physically active and always exercising regularly can produce the long-term health benefits and even improve the health for some of the older people who already have the diseases and disabilities. That's why health experts say that the older adults should aim to be as active as is possible.

3. Being Inactive Can Be Quite Risky

Although the exercise and physical activity are among the healthiest things you can do for yourself, some of the older adults are reluctant to actually exercise. Some are afraid that the exercise will be too hard or that the physical activity will harm them. Others might think they have to join a gym or have to take some special equipment. Yet, studies show that the "taking it easy" is risky. For the most important part, when older people lose their ability to do the things on their own, it doesn't happen just because they've quite aged. It's usually because that they're not active. Lack of the physical activity also can lead to more to the visits to the doctor, more of the hospitalizations, and more use of the medicines for a variety of the illnesses.

4. Prevent or Delays the Disease

Scientists have found that the staying physically active and the exercising regularly can help prevent or even delay many of the diseases and disabilities. In some cases, exercise is an effective treatment for many of the chronic conditions. For example, studies show that people with the condition of arthritis, heart disease, or even diabetes benefit from regular exercise. Exercise also helps people with the high blood pressure, balance problems, and even with the difficulty walking.

5. Manage the Stress, Improves the Mood

Regular, or moderate physical activity can help you manage the stress and improve your mood. And, being active on a regular basis actually may help reduce the feelings of depression. Studies also suggest that the exercise can improve or even maintain some aspects of the cognitive function, such as your ability to shift quickly between the tasks, plan an activity, and even ignore irrelevant information.

6. Exercise or Any Physical Activity?

Some people may wonder what the difference is between the physical activity and exercise. Physical activities are activities that get your body moving such as the gardening, the activity of walking the dog and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Exercise is on the contrary a form of physical activity that is specifically planned, or structured, in a sense and repetitive such as the weight training, tai chi, or even an aerobics class. Including both in your life will actually provide you with the health benefits that can help you feel better and also enjoy life more as you age.

  • Immune Function.

    A healthy, or strong body fights off infection and the sickness more easily and also more quickly. Rather than the sapping energy reserves entirely, the recovery from an illness will take less of a toll on the body if the person exercises regularly.

  • Cardio-Respiratory and Cardiovascular Function.

    Frequent physical activity also lowers the risk of the heart disease and high blood pressure. If the elderly person has the hypertension, exercise will help lower their blood pressure.

  • Bone Density and Risk of Osteoporosis.

    Exercise also protects against the loss in bone mass. Better bone density will actually reduce the risk of osteoporosis, lower the risk of the falling and prevent the broken bones. Post-menopausal women can also lose as much as 2 percent bone mass each year, and men also lose the bone mass as they age. A strength training can dramatically also reduce this loss, helps restore the bones, and contribute to a better balance and less fractures.

  • Gastrointestinal Function.

    Regular exercise also helps to boost your metabolism and also promotes the efficient elimination of the waste and encourages the digestive health.

  • Chronic Conditions and Cancer.

    Physical activity lowers the risk of serious conditions such as the Alzheimer's disease and the dementia, diabetes, the obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis and the colon cancer, to name a few. It also helps in the management of the high cholesterol and arthritis pain.

What exercises can the seniors do for a better living?

Often, the frail elderly people are unable to tolerate the aerobic exercise routines on a regular basis due to the lack of endurance. But while the age-related changes in the cardiovascular system have significant effects on the performance, it has been estimated that almost 50% of the endurance loss can be related to the decreased muscle mass. The ideal senior exercise regimen consists of the three components:

Aerobic and the Endurance Exercises

  • Physicians recommend a 30 minutes of the cardiorespiratory endurance exercise each day for your elderly mom or even dad. This means getting their heart rate up and the breathing faster.
  • Walking, cycling and even swimming are all examples of the cardio/endurance exercises. If the person tires easily, especially those who are resuming a routine or just starting to exercise, it is always perfectly acceptable to do the three 10-minute periods of the exercise daily.
  • Cardiorespiratory endurance exercise increases the body's ability to deliver the oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and removes the waste over sustained periods of time.
  • After the exercising consistently for a few weeks, there will likely be an improvement in the person's ability to actually exercise and the ability to perform everyday tasks without getting winded and also tired.

Strength and the Resistance Training

  • Strength training uses and builds the muscles with repetitive motion exercises. Your elderly parent can do the strength training with weights, the resistance bands, and nautilus machines or by using the walls, the floor and even the furniture for resistance.
  • Bodyweight exercises or the calisthenics such as lunges, sit-ups and the leg raises are also convenient options since they do not require any of the specialized equipment.
  • Two to three strength/resistance training workouts a week will provide you with the greatest benefits.
  • Exercise all the muscle groups by doing 1 to 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions at a moderate intensity.
  • Individuals can progressively increase the size of the weights used during workouts as their actual strength builds.
  • Strength training helps prevent the loss of bone mass and also improves balance. Both of these things will help the seniors avoid falls and the broken bones.

Stretching and the Flexibility Exercises

  • Stretching is vital for an exercise regimen. This helps muscles to warm up and also cool down gradually and even improves and maintains the flexibility, prevents injury, and reduces the muscle soreness and the stiffness.
  • Stretching can also function as a time for the meditation and a time to appreciate how your body is actually feeling. Body and the muscle awareness are useful skills that assist in safe mobility and the physical activities.
  • Activities like the yoga or the Pilates can provide both useful stretches and the strength training because they focus on isolating and developing different muscle groups.
  • A number of the exercise programs focus on developing a strong 'core,' a term which refers to the set of the muscles connecting the inner stomach to the lower back and also to the spine. Because the core muscles provide the foundation for all the movement and the strength, having a strong core can actually help with all movement, encourage better posture and reduce allover muscle pain.
  • Of course, there are some people whose physical abilities are quite limited by the medical conditions or the general frailty.
  • These seniors have to go about the exercise more carefully than the others, but they do not have to dismiss it in the entirely.
  • With proper instruction and the guidance, the elderly can learn activities and the exercises that improve mobility and also strength.
  • Exercise is even more important for the frail individuals since they are the most prone to falling and the broken bones.
  • Try the activities in a class setting with the proper supervision by a trained professional.
  • Consider the swimming or other water exercises that are low-impact and which are less jarring to the body. Start looking for good places to for exercising programs that address to your special needs.

Tips for seniors beginning an exercise program

  • Get the clearance first - Before you begin, have a check-up and talk with your doctor or the healthcare practitioner about any of the special conditions you might have.
  • If something hurts, then stop doing it - If you have a persistent pain when you exercise, take a break, don't continue. If you are sick, you should go easy on yourself or your loved ones whoever is exercising or skip it for a few days. When you resume, start slowly again. Know that there are some of the warning signs that mean you should stop what you are doing and should immediately consult a doctor:
  • Chest pain or the pressure
  • Breathing trouble or the excessive shortness of breath
  • Persistent or a sharp muscle or a joint pain.
  • Nausea or
  • Unusual balance difficulty or
  • Severe illness
  • Start Slowly - Start with the 10 minutes a couple times a day if you can. Go slow and be consistent in exercising.
  • Be Comfortable - Wear the most comfortable, non-restrictive clothing, and it's important that you wear or your loved ones who ever is working out wears supportive shoes and layers so that you can adjust as your body temperature rises.
  • Keep It Easy Flowing - Moderation is key, so don't overexert yourself.
  • Breathe - Remember to breathe consistently throughout your exercise routine.
  • Stay Hydrated - Drink plenty of water before, during and after your activity gets over.
  • Warm Up & Cool Down - Always ease your body into and also out of the exercise.
  • Walk slowly or even stretch for at least 5 minutes.
  • Build Up - Gradually increase the time and the intensity of your activity. It will become easier as you exercise consistently.
  • Mix It Up - Vary the type of activity that you do. Try to find a new sport or take a tai chi or yoga class for the variation. Doing new things will help you always remain interested.
  • Make It Fun - Get an activity that you or your loved one could do with friends, listen to music or take up an active hobby to keep it always as fun and interesting.

Practice makes a man perfect so, keep practicing, if you are doing it yourself, or if your friends or parents or grandparents are doing it, sometimes the family could even exercise together seeing the younger children do it, can act as a motivational factor for the elderly, whatever you do, balance it out with a proper diet and always take adequate amount of rest for better results.

Atrayee De

Atrayee De

Hello everyone, I am a law student, I love reading, researching and singing. Apart from these I also love to dress up, and stay updated with the on going fashion and beauty trends of the glamour industry!

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