Healthy ageing: 5 reasons why exercise is important for the elderly

Exercise is a vital activity for everyone. It improves our fitness, happiness, mental capacity and makes us nice and sleepy in time for a good night’s rest. It is just as imperative for the elderly to stay fit than it is for younger Australians.

As we age, it is important to maintain a physical routine to help with our physical strength and age-related mental health concerns. What’s more, it promotes continued wellbeing which is imperative for an elderly person’s mood, memories and anxiety-prevention!

Here, we are going to talk about exercise for the elderly and why it is so beneficial for them to maintain a healthy, active routine where possible. There are so many ways in which the elderly can keep active, the likes of which will discuss below:

What kind of exercise can the elderly undertake?

Regular physical activity – including exercise – are imperative parts of our daily lives no matter what age we are. But as we continue to get older, exercise can help us continue to live balanced, independent lives. The best aged care Wollongong has is always on hand to help the elderly pursue physical activity wherever suitable, as it is an imperative part of staying healthy during the ageing process.

Naturally, as we get older it can be difficult to maintain the same level of physical therapy and exercise that we did when we younger, so it may have to be dialled down a notch or two, but regular walking, jogging, stretching and fun activities like golf and water aerobics are fantastic ways to keep fit without overdoing it!

The health benefits

There are numerous health benefits for exercising during the ageing process, including:

  • Improved fitness: This one is obvious! But the importance of exercising during the ageing process can’t be stressed enough, especially as our bodies gradually become frailer.
  • Promotes a healthy weight range: Many elderly people become more sedentary as they age. Unfortunately, a more sedentary lifestyle is linked to weight gain, and this is especially so as we get older, due to our fat mass increasing whilst our muscle mass decreases. Therefore, regular exercise in the elderly is important for promoting a healthy weight range.
  • Increased happiness: When you exercise, you produce hormones that have positive effects on our nervous system and brains. One of these hormones is endorphins, the chemical that increases our happiness. Performing routine physical activity is a great way to increase our mood, especially as we get older.
  • It helps with sleep: Sleeping can be more difficult for many elderly residents. Lower sleep levels can, unfortunately, produce further health issues, including mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Routine physical activity can increase our deep sleep cycles and create healthier rest. Regular exercise can help improve the quality of your sleep. Exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety, which can both interfere with sleep.
  • Helps with cognitive function: Routine physical activity has been linked to reducing the chances of dementia and other cognitive problems that may arise with the ageing process. Performing routine exercise improves blood flow and oxygen to all parts of our body, promoting cell growth and regeneration, as well as improving our mood, memory and mindfulness.

Exercise is an imperative part of anyone’s personal health, happiness and fitness, but especially so for the elderly, who require ongoing physical activity to ward off some of the more unfortunate effects of the ageing process.

It doesn’t have to be strenuous, simply something to keep the body moving and the endorphins flowing – it’s a great way to promote improved health later in life!

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