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Senior Health

Exercise & Fitness For Seniors

Reviewed by: MySeniorCare Staff
Last Updated: 4/14/2010 10:34:02 AM

Exercise has many benefits for seniors and those who are physically able should exercise regularly. Of course, a licensed medical professional should be consulted before deciding on which fitness activities to start or stop.

Every person is different and seniors especially should practice safety first. That aside, here are some of the benefits of exercise and fitness for seniors.

Prevention or Delay of Certain Diseases & Conditions

Regular exercise can help prevent or delay certain diseases and conditions. Some of these include Alzheimer's, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.

Seniors who practice a regular exercise routine could be aiding their bodies in the prevention or delay of these serious medical risks. In Alzheimer's patients, routine exercise and fitness can help reduce stress, wandering and depression.

Reducing Arthritis Pain

Arthritis pain can be mild to very severe. With a disease such as arthritis, one may assume exercise would make an afflicted person even more sore. However, quite the opposite is true. Not getting enough exercise can make muscles and joints more stiff, which is not good for those who suffer from arthritis.

Doctors often recommend regular exercise and fitness for seniors with arthritis. However, it is important also to remember not to overdo it. Talk to a doctor and know the limits.

Increases Mobility

Regular exercise can help increase mobility. This, in turn, can help reduce the risk of falls. Those incurred from falling represent the most prevalent nonfatal injuries in seniors.

Seniors who exercise and participate in fitness activities often have better control over their bodies. This is because exercise helps seniors create the body strength needed for balance and control.

Better Sleep

Those who exercise often have a better night's sleep than those who do not. This is because exercise can reduce stress, as well as relax the body. It also can help relieve muscle aches and pains and release tension.

Many of these variables are the reason some seniors cannot get enough sleep. This is why doctors often recommend regular exercise and fitness for seniors. Tai Chi and Yoga are just two forms of soothing exercises that can be beneficial to senior health.

Management of Stress, Anxiety, & Depression

When seniors have a regular exercise routine, stress, anxiety and depression can be reduced or even prevented. Exercise releases energizing hormones, but it can also soothe the brain, ease tension and relax sore muscles.

Breathing exercises, such as those practiced in Yoga and Tai Chi are especially conducive for easing stress, anxiety and depression.

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