Exercise: Why it Helps Improve Your Golden Years

While exercise is important for people of all ages, exercise is of particular importance for the elderly, as it can help to manage and even prevent many diseases and conditions that commonly afflict older people. Here, the elder care professionals at Avila Home Care explain why exercise is so critical for the elderly.

Improves Management of Arthritis

Nearly half of individuals over the age of 65 have reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and this painful condition can only be managed, not cured. Physical activity is one of the most beneficial options available for arthritis management, helping to lubricate the joints and reduce pain and inflammation. Obesity is also a risk factor for arthritis, so regular physical exercise can help to minimize the risk of developing arthritis altogether.

Helps to Prevent Development of Heart Disease

According to the CDC, heart disease is responsible for approximately one in four deaths in the United States. Because of the beneficial impact of exercise on blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol, physical activity can help to prevent heart disease in older populations.

Improves Feelings of Depression and Help to Prevent Dementia

Rates of depression in senior-age adults ranges from 5-13.5%, and many elderly adults who are not clinically depressed still show signs of sadness, isolation and loneliness. Physical exercise, especially performed in a group setting, can help reduce feelings of depression or general sadness by 30% or more in older adults.

Dementia is another disabling condition that affects many older adults, but also one whose symptoms can be reduced by regular physical exercise. Studies have shown that performing moderate intensity exercise 45 minutes a day, three days a week caused an increase in brain mass, which was correlated with a reduced risk of dementia.

Increases Overall Quality of Life

The desire of many elderly people is to maintain independence and functionality as they age, and regular exercise can help them achieve these desires. Thirty minutes of daily physical activity, as well as strength training performed two non-consecutive days a week can help to increase muscle mass, improve flexibility, increase lung capacity and improve balance, all of which are vital to ensuring elderly people can live comfortably and safely in their own home for years to come.

Minimized Risk of Falling

Falls, which contribute to more than 90% of hip fractures in adults over 70, are also minimized by the introduction of regular exercise. Exercise helps to improve strength, coordination, flexibility and balance; all of which are necessary to prevent falls, and to minimize injury should a fall occur.

Reduces Physical Appearance of Aging and Increases Life Expectancy

The physical aging process cannot be stopped entirely, but it can be greatly reduced by physical exercise. Exercise helps keep skin soft and supple, reducing the likelihood of developing fine lines and wrinkles. Physical activity also halts the aging process within chromosomes, increasing the length of telomeres, which are correlated with longevity. Both of these benefits help the elderly to enjoy more of their golden years in a confident and enjoyable manner.

Enjoy the Ability to Age in Place with Exercise—and Avila Home Care

Exercise is a vital component in ensuring your beloved senior will be able to age in place in a comfortable, safe and enjoyable way. Another vital component is choosing a home care specialist who is in tune with their needs and desires. The elder care professionals at Avila Home Care provide experienced, dedicated care to their senior clients, helping them to get the most out of their golden years. For more information about Avila Home Care, contact us today!

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