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Benefits of Exercise for Seniors

August 14th, 2014

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As people age, exercise can contribute significantly to their physical and mental wellbeing. Of course it’s easy for seniors to say “I’m slowing down, and I’ve earned the right to relax,” but if you’re responsible for the senior care of an aging loved one, you’re not doing them any favors by allowing them to sit in a chair and do nothing. The benefits of exercise can’t be overstated.

Physical Benefits

  1. Weight Maintenance and Loss – With age, the metabolism naturally slows down, and maintaining a healthy weight can be somewhat of a challenge. Exercise burns calories, builds muscle mass, and increases metabolism. It can mean the difference between 24/7 in-home care and an occasional visit from a home healthcare professional.
  2. Better Overall Health – Seniors who are receiving home care in Tampa, FL will experience lower blood pressure, better digestion, and a heightened immune system if they exercise regularly. They’ll also lower their risk of diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, colon cancer and osteoporosis.
  3. Increased Flexibility and Balance – Exercise improves posture, flexibility and strength. This means that the senior will be at a lower risk for falling. Seniors who are troubled by arthritis will also find that their symptoms are less severe.

Home healthcare workers can assist seniors with proper exercise techniques, and can also offer physical support if the senior is fearful of falling while exercising. With proper support, there’s no reason why seniors can’t continue to realize the physical benefits of exercise well into their advancing years.

Mental Wellness Benefits

Sleep – It’s well known that as people age, their sleep patterns can be disrupted. However, trouble sleeping doesn’t have to be a consequence of aging. Frequent exercise increases the depth and quality of sleep, and that, in turn, improves the senior’s health and quality of life.

Depression – Unfortunately, aging is often accompanied by depression. Exercise produces endorphins that ease the feelings of depression. Also, as strength builds, the senior feels more confident and self-assured.

Cognitive Function – As the body goes, so does the brain. Regular exercise delivers blood flow to the brain and keeps it active. Cognitive function improves, and so does memory. It’s even believed that exercise may slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, two serious concerns when it comes to senior care.

If you’re arranging in home care in Tampa, FL for a loved one, make sure that regular exercise is a strong component in his or her care.

Topics: General Health