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Physical Exercise For The Elderly: benefits And IMplications

Today, our older adults and elderly population are more aware than ever before that engaging in regular physical exercise and following an active lifestyle are essential for healthy aging and for boosting their overall quality of life.

 

In fact, it is now a recognized fact that regular physical exercise not only decreases the risk of premature mortality among our seniors, it also increases the odds of having a longer, healthier and more meaningful life as we age.

The manifold physical, mental and emotional benefits of bodily exercise for our seniors and older adults - especially when carried out in a structured and systematic fitness setting - can be seen as follow:

1) Physical Benefits

  • Exercise can help to prevent and delay the onset of chronic diseases and illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, kidney failure, heart disease, osteoporosis, cancers etc.

  • Exercise can help to reduce our body fat levels, thus keeping our weight manageable and within the healthy range.

  • Exercise can help to avert muscle wastage and aid in the maintenance - and even increase - of lean muscle mass as we age. 

  • Exercise can also stave off bone loss and its corresponding condition of osteoporosis, while maintaining or even increasing our bone density. 

  • Exercise can reduce the risk of falls and injuries, and their ensuing trauma, pain and disabilities.

  • Exercise can help to alleviate aches and discomfort from existing medical/health conditions.

  • Exercise can improve our functional strength, stamina, mobility, flexibility, balance and coordination.

  • Exercise can help to increase our lifespan.

2) Mental Benefits

  • Exercise can help to improve our brain health and boost our various mental functions, including memory and cognition.

  • Exercise can help to minimize the risk of dementia, Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive impairments from developing with age.

  • Exercise helps to promote better sleep and enhances our overall sleep quality and rhythm, thereby ensuring we wake up feeling rested, refreshed and alert.

 

3) Emotional Benefits

  • Exercise helps to increase our sense of self-worth, independence and wellness.

  • Exercise improves our body image and self-confidence.

  • Exercise boosts our mood via the 'feel-good' hormones released during the process.

  • Exercise helps to alleviate stress, anxiety and depression.

  • Exercise helps us to forge better social connections and relationships with others. 

Conclusion

To reap all the above benefits and advantages that exercise can offer, seniors and older adults are strongly encouraged to make physical exercise a TOP priority in their lives, and to seek out fitness programs that are holistic, well-rounded and complete in nature.

 

Such programs will typically address multiple components of fitness concurrently, and include elements of all of the following:

 

 

If you need help in incorporating a scientifically-structured exercise program into your fitness routine, please don't hesitate to speak to a Certified Senior/Older Adult Fitness Specialist to help you out.

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