Exercise becomes more challenging as a person ages. Injuries, sore muscles or joints and other ailments can make it even harder to incorporate the activity your loved one needs into each day. However, physical exercise is directly linked to overall health and well-being. That’s why older adults need to exercise as much as they can in a safe manner.
Why Do Exercise Regimens Matter for Older Adults?
Unfortunately, there is an increased risk of falling or suffering an injury as a result of exercise. However, exercising the right way can help improve health and plays a significant role in a person’s overall well-being. The benefits include:
- Reducing the risk of falls through improved balance and muscle tone
- Aiding in maintaining a healthy weight, which can reduce the risk of illness of heart disease
- Improving muscles to help ensure a person is stronger and able to meet their daily needs
- Reducing the physical and mental impacts of aging overall
- Keeping mental health good by boosting endorphins and reducing stress
The U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention states that older adults need to aim for 150 minutes of moderate-level aerobic activity each week. That’s about spending 30 minutes a day walking or exercising at least five days a week.
How Can Older Adults Exercise Safely?
Those over the age of 65 should talk to their doctor to ensure they are healthy enough for exercise. Learn about any restrictions your loved one may have as well. The more a person is moving or standing, the better. A few types of activity that may be safe for older adults include:
- Walking, briskly or at a comfortable pace
- Riding a bike in a park or along a trail each day
- Using light weights to build muscle tone
- Yoga and other meditation-based exercises
- Swimming, which is a good option for those who have joint pain
It is also a good idea to invest wisely in exercise. That is, your loved one should choose activities they enjoy but are able to do with someone else. That way they’re more likely to engage in them consistently. Your loved one should also have someone to help them should they get too tired or suffer an injury. Look for assisted living programs in your community that may enable your loved one to get active. Fitness programs for those over the age of 65 may be a good choice for many. But if your loved one lives a more sedentary lifestyle, just getting outdoors for 30 minutes a day will benefit their health.