Exercise is important for people of all ages and physical abilities, but it can be especially important to senior health and happiness. And the benefits of low-impact exercise go beyond physical fitness and long-term health: The social connections made in group classes can actually help seniors ward off common emotional issues such as loneliness and depression. Take a look at some of the ways in which exercise can improve quality of life for seniors.
Promoting Senior Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults over the age of 65 perform strength-building exercises at least two days a week, and get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. This combination of workouts can help build muscle strength and endurance. Exercise also encourages heart health, helps regulate cholesterol, and fights off illness by building up the immune system. Some of the most popular exercises for seniors are low-impact cardio workouts, such as tai chi and water aerobics.
A regular exercise program can help seniors live independently for longer, especially if they are equipped with a medical alert device that enables them to be out and about, such as the GoSafe Medical Alert System. Additionally, low-impact exercises can help prevent falls by helping seniors become stronger, more flexible, and more resilient.
Providing Social Stimulation
Seniors are at an increased risk for a number of mental and emotional problems, including depression and anxiety. Regular exercise, as well as participation in group exercise programs that keep seniors active in the community, can provide stimulation that helps keep loneliness at bay. Most senior centers and many community centers offer low-impact exercise classes created especially for adults over age 65. Some even offer chair-based classes for those with limited mobility. Others still may provide personal training led by professionals who are specially trained to help seniors lower their fall risks.
Staying Healthy at Home
Low-impact exercise programs designed for seniors offer social stimulation while building strength and improving health. All these benefits work together to help active seniors remain independent longer. While group exercise offers social benefits that seniors may not get working out at home, a home workout is better than no workout at all. The National Institute on Aging offers a guide for older adults who wish to begin low-impact exercise regimens at home. Before starting, seniors should talk with their doctors to make sure they are healthy enough to exercise.
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