Exercise plays an important role in maintaining general health and well-being throughout people’s lives. Unfortunately, though, even Californians who have been active throughout their lives have a tendency to become more sedentary as they age. The worst part about this trend is that staying active becomes more important as people get older, not less.
Moderate to high levels of physical activity include some risks, especially for older adults who are already growing frail. However, the benefits of exercise far outweigh those risks. Read on to find out about just a few of the top benefits of staying active throughout those golden years.
Reduced Risk of Chronic Illnesses
Regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing chronic illnesses at any age. Following CDC recommendations can help to protect heart health, support the immune system, and improve digestion, all of which can keep people’s disease risk profiles lower. Older adults who exercise regularly are less likely to experience adverse cardiovascular events or to develop potentially serious diseases such as diabetes and some types of cancer.
Improved Cognitive Health
Many Americans assume that cognitive decline and the eventual development of dementia are normal parts of aging, but that is not the case. While there’s no known cure or 100% effective prophylactic to protect against dementia, regular exercise can decrease a senior’s risk of developing this devastating disease and may even slow its progress when symptoms are already present. Regular exercise also improves cognitive function in seniors who are otherwise healthy.
Fewer Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
Moving to an active community for seniors is by far the best way for older Californians to stave off depression and anxiety symptoms whether they have struggled with the mental health conditions for years or have only recently developed them. In this context, it’s not just the extra opportunities for staying active that make a difference. When seniors get together to exercise in classes or informal settings, they can also take advantage of added social benefits.
Increased Bone Health and Strength
Maintaining bone strength becomes more difficult as people age even if they’re eating healthy diets. Thankfully, regular exercise can help to keep bones strong. Because bones are composed of living tissue, they change in response to force. Regularly exercising exerts a safe and healthy force upon the bones, causing them to adapt by becoming denser and stronger.
Reduce Fall Risks
One of the reasons many people consider senior living options is that they’ve fallen at home. This kind of scary experience makes it clear that living in a communal setting is safer. However, falls can happen in assisted living communities if residents aren’t careful about keeping their bodies in good shape.
Targeted exercises and the maintenance of an active lifestyle make it easier to stay balanced and build muscle strength in addition to improving bone health, both of which can reduce a senior’s risk of falls. Plus, improving bone and muscle health makes it less likely that people will injure themselves even if they do fall.
Living a sedentary lifestyle affects sleep quality at any age. Thankfully, the same can be said of getting regular aerobic exercise throughout the day. The reason this is the case is that aerobic exercise raises people’s core body temperatures, which encourages restfulness when they start to cool down. To take advantage of the sleep-promoting benefits of exercise, try to get in some light aerobic exercise within two to three hours of bedtime.
Exercise isn’t just linked to improved mood, cognitive function, sleep hygiene, bone health, and fall risk profiles. Staying active also helps people maintain higher energy levels as they age, which can have a dramatic positive impact on seniors’ quality of life. Having more energy makes it easier to stay focused, maintain an active social life, and participate in fun activities. Plus, seniors will notice that getting regular exercise acts as a virtuous cycle by making it easier to stay active in the future.
Make Staying in Shape Easy and Fun
Moving to an assisted living community in West Hills, CA that encourages an active lifestyle is one of the easiest ways for seniors to stay in great shape throughout their golden years. Here at Fallbrook Glen of West Hills, we plan fun activities and encourage all of our residents to stay both physically active and involved in community life. From walking clubs to chair yoga, there’s something for everyone. Check out our activity calendar online or call (818) 883-4123 to schedule a tour of our community today.