Spending your days sitting around the house is not good for anyone. While superior genetics and youth may keep your body from disintegrating too quickly, seniors are not privy to those luxuries. As we age, the human body encounters certain difficulties. Science has proven that those who maintain an exercise regiment can counter some of those natural deficiencies.
You may be thinking, “Well, I’ve already been inactive for so long that I’m starting to feel some of those negative effects.” Research has proven that you’re in luck. Exercise has restored desirable attributes even in people who have been sedentary.
1. Mental Health
We usually think of staying sharp by reading or solving puzzles, but exercise can work wonders. Physical activity produces a protein in the brain that has a strong influence on memory and increases cognitive ability. Not only can it maintain an already sound mind, but also reverse memory impairment. Two sessions of 10 minute exercise is perfect, but workouts shorter than 10 minutes do not have the same impact.
The idea of spending 20 minutes in the gym every day doesn’t appeal to you? No problem. All of these benefits can be achieved with walks. By simply walking you increase the blood flow to your brain. Seniors need to walk at least 113 blocks a week (about 5.7 miles) to pursue greater mental health.
For most, after we turn 40 our muscle mass drops continually, fortunately it can be built or rebuilt at any age in a direct response to exercise. We need muscle tissue to burn calories, boost metabolism and maintain a healthy weight. Not much for the weight room? Riding a bike, swimming and jogging slowly are great ways to build muscle mass.
3. Bone Density
Older women can increase bone density by exercising. This is a great way to prevent diseases like Osteoporosis. People that spend too much time sitting develop weaker bones and are more likely to endure fractures in an accident.
Exercises to improve your balance can be very helpful. It’s estimated that 33% of seniors over the age of 65 fall annually. Typically we associate falls with broken hips, but that’s not the worst of it. Brain and spinal cord injuries are also prevalent with this type of incident.