The Importance of Exercise for Seniors
Ideally, we all want to remain independent well into our golden years. Good overall health and mobility are very important as we get on in years because our family and friends might worry about us, they might worry about falls, they might worry if you are eating enough, they might worry that you are spending too much time alone. These are legitimate concerns, but if we are getting regular exercise and taking care of ourselves we are much better off to remain independent.
As we age we tend to become more sedentary. Being inactive can cause many health problems. Not getting enough exercise increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, your risk of type 2 diabetes, dementia and memory loss, falls, muscle loss, loss of bone density, depression, and the list goes on and on. If we make sure we exercise regularly, stay hydrated, and stick to a healthy diet we can reduce the chances of having to deal with those medical issues.
There are so many benefits that come from staying active and fit. It has been proven that exercise can improve your immune system and your cardiovascular function. As we get older we are more susceptible to sickness and our hearts tend to get weaker. Exercise will keep your heart strong and get that blood pumping. Exercise will strengthen your immune system so it is less likely that you will become sick. Exercise also can help to alleviate joint pain associated with arthritis.
Exercise also keeps your mind healthy. It can improve your mood and people who exercise on a regular basis will lower their risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Exercise is a great way to keep your spirits up too, especially in the long winter months. Staying active can help prevent depression. Going for walks with friends, working in your garden, walking your dog, going swimming, taking a Zumba or yoga class or working out at the fitness center are all great ways to stay active. If you can find friends to exercise with it’s easier to keep each other motivated and get into a routine.
Lincoln has the Community Fitness Center which is open Monday-Friday and it’s only $25 for a monthly membership. The fitness center has cardio exercise equipment, universal free weights machines, free weights, stability and therapy machines. And if all of that sounds intimidating, no worries, their friendly staff will show you how to use the equipment. They can also help you make a routine that works for you and your fitness goals. Millinocket has the LIFEstyle Fitness Center. It features cardio and strength training equipment as well as a heated pool. LIFEstyle Fitness Center is open M-F 6am-700pm and Saturday 7-11am. Click here for their rates. Call 723-6454 for more information.
Being fit will help you stay independent longer. Exercise is a proven way to prevent bone density loss and exercise will also lower your risk of Osteoporosis. Having strong bones means you are less likely to break a bone if you fall. Exercise will also improve your balance which will lower your risk of falling. Falls are one of the biggest risks for seniors living alone. Being fit will keep you mentally as sharp as a tack as well. Having good mental health is especially important as we age because the risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia and memory loss increase as we get older. Exercise can increase your life expectancy and improve your quality of life. It’s never too late to get started. Exercise will improve your overall well being and keep you feeling young.