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Retire, Perspire, Inspire: 7 Reasons Seniors Need to Adopt an Exercise Regimen

elderly crossfit masters

As people get older, they encounter natural physical limitations, from decreased muscle mass to impaired balance. However, just because you’re not a spring chicken doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the health benefits of regular exercise. 

You don’t have to work alone if you have trouble motivating yourself to get your sweat on.  A home care service can help you stick to a regular exercise routine and monitor your health and well-being around the clock. In-home caregivers can also offer their support with daily tasks like cooking and cleaning, generally making day-to-day life more manageable. That way, you’ll only work up a sweat when you want to. 

The CDC has specific recommendations for seniors regarding exercise regimens. These include muscle-strengthening activities and somewhat intense aerobic exercise. If you’re still not convinced, here are seven reasons seniors should adopt an exercise regimen. 

Improve balance

Older adults face a two-fold threat from falls. Not only do falls get more common as we age, but these falls pose a higher risk due to decreased bone density. Exercises like yoga and tai chi help maintain mobility and balance, meaning you’ll only end up on the floor when you’re doing the downward dog. 

Enhance muscle mass

Sarcopenia refers to the natural loss of muscle mass that occurs with age. Seniors can maintain muscle mass with weight training, helping them to stay strong and limber. You can follow a weight training session with a soothing massage to keep sore muscles at bay. You don’t have to train like Arnold Schwarzenegger to enjoy the benefits of stronger muscles and joints, so don’t dismiss those dumbbells. 

Boost bone density

Bone density likewise decreases with age, making bones more prone to fractures and breakage. Weight training can help keep bones strong and reduce the risk of osteoporosis (the medical term for loss of bone density). Breaking a sweat now can help you avoid breaking a bone later on. 

Maintain a healthy weight

As people get older, their metabolism naturally slows down. This reduction can increase the risk of weight gain. Since obesity is associated with many illnesses, like hypertension, keeping weight gain in check is essential. At-home weight loss exercises burn calories and shed pounds. Exercising regularly can help you feel great and save up those extra calories for dessert with the grandkids. 

Prevent chronic diseases

Regular exercise is associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. With age, the risk for such ailments tends to increase, so maintaining physical activity is a valuable and low-cost preventative measure. Like people always say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so don’t be afraid to feel the burn. 

Improve mental health

Exercise isn’t all about your body. It can also be fantastic for your mind. Research suggests that physical activity helps keep the brain healthy, minimizing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and improving the mood. It can also help mitigate mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

Exercising with another person, like friends or a home care professional, also provides valuable socialization. Studies have shown that seniors who maintain a social life are generally happier, have a lower risk of mental health problems, and may even live longer.

Maintain independence

The benefits above add up to one big pro: greater independence. The longer you can maintain good physical and mental health, the longer you can live at-home and independently. Seniors who exercise regularly and keep their mobility up can age in place and stay closer to their loved ones. 

Final word

Exercising regularly might seem like a lot of effort, but the returns are huge. So, whether it’s jazzercise, aerobics, or bicep curls, don’t be scared to train your lean, mean senior machine. 

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The Rx Review is an independent fitness website, reporting on the Sport of Fitness, functional fitness news, The CrossFit Games, health and diet related information, and also provides reviews on sports performance products.