senior adults preparing for yoga class

The Benefits of Physical Activity and Exercise for Seniors

As we age, it’s normal for our bodies to slow down and for us to become less active. However, regular exercise and physical activity can have a huge impact on the health and well-being of seniors. From improving physical health to boosting mental health, the benefits of physical activity and exercise for seniors are many. 

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is any type of physical activity that gets your heart pumping and increases your breathing rate. This is an excellent type of exercise for seniors because it helps improve cardiovascular health and can even reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Aerobic exercise can be fun with lots of options to choose from which include the following: 

  • Brisk walking
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Dancing

It is important to check with your doctor before beginning any new workout routine to make sure it is the right fit for you. 

Strength Training

Strength training, also known as resistance training, involves using weights or resistance bands to build muscle. This type of exercise can help improve your physical health by increasing your muscle mass. The result of this can help improve your balance which can lead to a reduced risk of falls. Resistance training is also shown to help maintain your bone density, which can help prevent osteoporosis

Reduced Risk of Dizziness or Shortness of Breath

Seniors who engage in regular physical activity can also reduce their risk of dizziness or shortness of breath. Regular exercise can improve overall heart health, which helps regulate your breathing. 

Improved Balance

Improving balance is especially important for seniors, as a loss of balance can lead to falls and injury. Engaging in physical activity, such as tai chi or yoga, can help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls.

Regular Exercise and Improved Cognitive Function

Staying active is not only good for your physical health, but it’s also great for your brain. Regular exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function in seniors. This helps keep your mind sharp and alert. Engaging in physical activity can even help improve your memory, focus, and attention. It can even delay the onset of age-related cognitive decline, such as Alzheimer’s disease. That’s right, and exercise can help keep your brain healthy and functioning at its best! And the best part is, it’s never too late to start. Whether you’re just starting out or have been active all your life, there’s no better time than now to get moving. 

Mental Health and Exercise

A regular exercise routine can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can boost your mood and self-esteem. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. This can help improve your mood and overall well-being. And, if you’re feeling down or stressed, a good workout can do wonders for your mental health too. 

When seniors exercise, it can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Engaging in physical activity can provide you with a sense of accomplishment and boost your self-esteem. If you exercise in a gym or public space, it even gives you an opportunity to socialize and connect with others. Joining a fitness class, going for a walk with a friend, or participating in a group fitness program are all great ways to get active and improve your mental health. 

In addition to the immediate mental health benefits of exercise, regular physical activity has also been shown to have long-term benefits for mental health. Exercise has been shown to improve sleep, which can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, and can also help improve mood and cognitive function.

So, whether you prefer to walk, dance, swim, or lift weights, getting active is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Exercise is a win-win for both your physical and mental health and can help improve overall well-being. So, why not start today and experience the mental health benefits of exercise for yourself?

We Want to Help You!

At Greenbrook Medical, we believe that every senior citizen should be cared for and treated with respect. That’s why we have made it our mission to provide the best possible care for our patients. Contact us today for a consultation or to request an appointment with one of our geriatric doctors!

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