5 Important Reasons Older Adults Should Exercise Daily
What’s your excuse for not exercising? Are you sick, out-of-shape, tired or feel like you’re just too old? Think again. Those kinds of fears and myths keep many older adults from working out regularly. That might explain why three out of four adults 65 and older have given up exercise completely.
However, studies show adding even 10 minutes of activity a day improves balance, agility, mental health and more. Here are a few of the many reasons why older adults should add some fitness to their routine:
- Give your heart health a boost: Exercise improves blood pressure in some people with hypertension.
- Feel less bone pain: Studies show exercising helps reduce arthritis aches. Those who exercised experienced less pain and better joint function.
- Hold on to muscle mass: Many symptoms associated with getting older (such as weakness and loss of balance) are actually symptoms of inactivity, not age. Exercises like tai chi may be especially helpful in improving mobility and help reduce your chances of falling.
- Keep your independence: Improving your physical health can help you stay strong and agile as you age, allowing you to keep doing the things you enjoy with less help.
- Stay sharp as a tack: Studies have found exercise boosts memory and helps prevent dementia.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends older adults who are generally fit and have no limiting health condition have at least 20 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, every day (roughly 150 minutes each week). It’s also encouraged to do muscle strengthening exercises two days a week to work all muscle groups. Before starting any workout regimen, consult your doctor.
Photo credit: Diabetes Care