Knowing that exercise is good for our health is a no-brainer — after all, studies have shown that regular activity can lead to improvements in blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and even Alzheimer’s and dementia. For our aging population, physical activity and exercise can take on an even greater meaning by potentially extending an older person’s ability to remain independent longer as they age.
Staying active can come in two forms — through physical activity and exercise. Physical activities include daily movements, such as gardening, walking the dog or cleaning house, and are helpful in maintaining an active lifestyle. Exercise is a more structured physical activity, such as aerobics, tennis or weight training that is often scheduled and repeated on a regular basis.
Incorporating both physical activity and exercise into daily life can yield great benefits for seniors and their loved ones alike. Here are a few areas impacted by an active lifestyle:
- Mental capacity — exercise increases blood flow throughout the body, including the brain, and can help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia with regular activity
- Diseases — physical activity helps prevent and delay diseases, and can even be effective treatment for chronic conditions
- Quality of Life — studies have linked physical well-being to psychological wellness, therefore the addition of physical activity may lead to an increase in an individual’s quality of life
- Balance — exercise builds muscles that help prevent slips, trips and falls that can be devastating for an older person
- Stress and Mood — moderate physical activity can help a person manage stress and increase their mood, which in turn can reduce feelings of depression
Now that we know the benefits, where should our aging loved ones start? At Cypress HomeCare Solutions, our goal is to empower the people we serve to live as independently as possible in their own homes. With this in mind, we are dedicated to providing solutions for our clients and their caregivers that lead to positive and productive results. When starting an exercise regimen, first check with your physician to see what exercises will be best for you, and find activities that are geared to your current fitness level. Then, use the buddy system and find someone to support or exercise with you, and who can help you achieve your physical goals. Finally, have fun! Make physical activities and exercise an enjoyable experience, and you will be more likely to do that activity again in the future.
Good luck, and get moving!