The Importance of Remaining Active: Part Two
It shouldn’t be a surprise that exercise has many benefits to the elderly. As discussed last week, frequent movement and stimulation of the body, including the brain, can literally reverse the signs of ageing and improve general quality of life markedly. It’s a simple concept that is applied in all other age groups and needs to be seen as a norm in the elderly as well.
As well as promoting a healthy, happy and independent lifestyle, frequent exercise has many specific benefits that will all contribute to living longer. With frequent exercise comes improved balance, stronger muscles and denser bones which can be helpful in reducing falls and, in those unfortunate circumstances, can reduce the risk of serious harm. Frequent cardiovascular exercise will increase blood flow to the heart and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. This could be anything from walking, cycling or even housework – anything that gets the blood pumping. Getting up and active in groups can also reduce the risk of developing dementia and improve confidence, independence and social skills.
Unfortunately, not all elderly people are able to get up and go for a run or have a kick of the footy. There are a number of simple, specifically designed exercises that, when repeated, can achieve these results and keep seniors on their toes. Some of these are as simple as:
- Repeatedly standing up and sitting down in a chair to improve leg strength
- Walking in a straight-line heel-to-toe to improve balance
- Completing vertical push-ups against a wall to improve arm strength
- Marching on the spot to improve balance and general physical health
There are many more simple exercises for seniors, some of which can be found here. These basic exercises are great for completing in the home but exercising in groups is a terrific way to stay healthy while being social and stimulating the brain.
It’s imperative to break down the stigma of elderly people becoming sedentary and inactive. As people age, frequent exercising, socializing and mind stimulation becomes more important than ever. Maintaining these activities is a sure-fire way to improve quality-of-life and extend lifespan, so why wouldn’t you?