Every Texan wants to maintain good health and a high quality of life well into old age. However, that requires more than just good intentions. Seniors need to make a concerted effort to stay active, no matter their mobility status. That can sound like a tall order, but with the right resources and attitude, increasing activity levels is an easy lifestyle change to make.
The CDC recommends that all adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, plus strength training activities at least two days per week. Those recommendations apply to adults aged 65 and up as well. However, older adults can also benefit from activities that promote balance, which may not be as much of an issue in younger people.
Why It’s Important
Some of the benefits of an active lifestyle are obvious. Seniors will be able to maintain better physical health and a greater ability to perform the activities of daily life if they exercise regularly and stay as active as possible. There are also hidden benefits to staying active, though, so even people who don’t quite understand the importance of healthy aging may still want to consider these factors:
1. Increased Bone Strength
Osteoporosis is a weakening of the bones that occurs when the body’s ability to produce new bone tissue can’t keep up with the rate at which it is breaking down. Unfortunately, this common disease often has no obvious early symptoms, and many seniors realize that they have osteoporosis only after they have suffered bone fractures. Regular exercise helps to keep bones strong and osteoporosis at bay by encouraging cellular growth in response to the force placed upon bones and joints during exercise.
2. Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Events
As with osteoporosis, the risk of adverse cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes increases as people age. Regular physical activity helps to reduce that risk. Just keep in mind that people who already have underlying heart conditions should consult their doctors before starting new exercise routines, as they may have exercise restrictions in place.
3. Improved Mood
Many seniors begin to struggle with mood and mental health problems as they age, especially if they live alone. Moving to a community for seniors is a good way to help keep depression, anxiety, and other mood issues at bay, but adding regular exercise in the context of formal or informal walking clubs, group classes, or other activities adds an extra level of benefits.
4. Better Sleep
Seniors often report having difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Because there is a direct correlation between physical activity levels and sleep quality, much of this problem may be attributable to a sedentary lifestyle as well as advancing age. Studies show that getting aerobic exercise throughout the day either in the form of formal exercise or simply staying active with friends can help people fall asleep sooner and stay asleep for longer.
5. Reduced Dementia Risk
Some people wrongly assume that dementia and severe cognitive decline are a normal part of healthy aging. Thankfully, that’s not the case. Aging Texans can reduce their dementia risk, even if they have family histories of Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive issues, by staying as active as possible. Remember that aerobic exercise improves blood flow, allowing for the more efficient transmission of oxygen and vital nutrients throughout the body. Increased oxygen to the brain improves neuron health, which makes exercise one of the most effective neuroprotectants.
Make Exercise Fun
For those who don’t enjoy structured exercise routines, there are plenty of other ways to stay active. Many people prefer community-focused senior living options for just that reason. Assisted living and memory care communities often provide opportunities for active living that wouldn’t be available to those aging in place alone, including group exercise classes, walking clubs, and others.
Of course, not all seniors have the same mobility levels. That doesn’t mean everyone can’t find ways to stay as active as possible and enjoy it while they do so. Assisted living provides plenty of opportunities for those with limited mobility to participate in fun activities and get exercise in a safe environment.
Find a Better Way to Live
The best way to maintain an active lifestyle is to move to an assisted living community in Tomball, TX that prioritizes the health and happiness of its residents. Harvest Home is just such a community. We make sure our residents have a range of fun activities that they can participate in on their own terms, making exercise fun for everyone. Check out our website to learn more or call (281) 357-5775 to schedule a tour today.