Keeping active as you age
July 19, 2014
Most of us do not have a routine exercise program we do on a daily basis. This is something as you age may become harder for most people to implement an exercise regimen into their daily lifestyle.
There are several great ways to provide your body the exercise it needs to stay ambulatory and active. You can take morning or evening walks around your neighborhood, purchase exercise videos that are designed with seniors in mind; you can join your local senior center for their exercise program or try visiting your local pool for their water aerobics program.
There are many options out there, you just need to find the one that suits your needs best.
Most seniors do not realize the benefits of exercising. It can energize your mood, relieve stress, help you manage symptoms of illness and pain, and improve your overall sense of well-being. Over the past 14 years being in the field of caring for seniors, I have lost count of how many times I have heard "if you don't use it, you lose it."
Well, this is a statement I have come to believe in. I have seen too many seniors who have lost their strength and ability to do daily activities because they have made a choice not to be as mobile as they could be and have also made the choice to not exercise on a regular basis. Exercise also enhances flexibility and balance in adults over 50. It will improve your strength and posture, which in turn will help with your balance, coordination and reduce the risk of falls. Some exercises will also help with symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.
A daily exercise program will help improve your sleep. Quality sleep is important for your overall health and exercising well help you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. Brain functions will also benefit from exercise and being active. It will help prevent memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia. Exercise may even help slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Not to mention what exercise will do for your self-confidence.
Being active and feeling strong naturally boosts your confidence and self-esteem. There are a lot of reasons we should all have a routine exercise program and the benefits you will see and feel are worth the extra effort. So get out there and exercise and lets all try and improve our overall health. But please remember to take it slow and be careful. There are two videos you may be interested in purchasing. In both videos you will only need a chair and hand weights are optional. "Moving with Mike" and "Stronger Seniors" are both videos that have an exercise program with seniors in mind.
Cher Haack is administrator of The Lodge Assisted Living & Memory Care Community.