Benefits of Staying Fit as You Age

Aging is scary for many people, but it is something many of us will have to experience at some point in our lives.

Physically, people start to slow down and, potentially, become more vulnerable to illness and injury. Some people may also experience changes in their thoughts and emotions.

However, aging doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom – people who have a positive attitude towards aging seem happier and enjoy a higher quality of life. Staying healthy is an ongoing process, so it’s essential to focus on staying fit as much as you possibly can.

Below we share six valuable benefits that come with staying healthy as you get older.

Staying fit as you get older will help you:

1. To Prevent Diseases

Several studies have shown an increased risk of heart disease in those out of shape compared to those who stay active. Regular exercise can reduce this risk by lowering harmful cholesterol levels and increasing good cholesterol levels.

Trying to maintain a healthy weight is also essential. Those with a healthy weight are less likely to develop diabetes, which can also raise the risk of heart disease.

Exercise can prevent osteoporosis, one of the most common health problems affecting seniors. Overweight and obesity contribute to osteoporosis, making it vital for you to maintain a healthy weight.

Exercising can also improve your sleep, enabling you to avoid insomnia and other sleep problems.

2. Improve Your Mental Health

Many people worry that staying fit is too hard for them as they get older.

This can be true, but the mental and emotional benefits of staying fit make it worth your time. Simply put, physical exercise is good for you.

It improves your cardiovascular health and can help improve moods and ease depression. Aerobic exercise also helps improve brain function by increasing the size of the hippocampus, an area associated with memory and learning, a study published by Frontiers in Human Neuroscience reveals.

Staying active helps seniors maintain independence and may help prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s, according to a combined result of 11 studies.

3. Improve Your Flexibility and Range of Motion

Staying fit helps your body’s range of motion and flexibility. The importance of this is especially apparent for older people with arthritis, who may have limited mobility and pain. According to Harvard Medical School, routine exercise increases you prevent injuries, back pains, and balance problems.

The benefits of exercise for those who have arthritis include a decrease in pain, better sleep, increased energy, and improved mood. The Arthritis Foundation recommends a total of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, which is equal to thirty minutes of exercise each day.

If you find you can’t do one continuous half-hour session, break the activity up into shorter periods throughout the day. You can also work your muscles by doing resistance training two or three times a week.

Aerobic activity that improves your heart rate is suitable for circulation and can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Resistance training has many benefits, including toning muscles, improving bone health, and strengthening joints, which helps protect against osteoporosis.

You can also do aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities simultaneously — gardening, for example — to get double benefits from your workout.

4. Prevent Falls

An accident such as a fall can be detrimental to the elderly. Falls can lead to fractures, head injuries, and diminished mobility or function.

Therefore, it is better to engage in more balance-centric and flexibility exercises with increasing age, such as yoga or Pilates. Consequently, the body learns to react to prevent falls.

5. Improve Your Bone Health

Being fit as you get older will improve your bone health. As you age, the mineral density in your bones starts to decrease. This makes them more fragile and prone to fractures.

Fit people have strong bones because they have more muscle mass, which creates a thicker skeleton that is less likely to break or fracture.

Being active can build bone density and help prevent conditions like osteoporosis.

6. Keep You Happy and Motivated

People who stay fit as they age are happier and more motivated to do things. They feel better about themselves, have more energy, and have a better outlook on life in general. Furthermore, physically active people are less likely to become depressed or lonely and are less likely to commit suicide than inactive people.

Conclusion

Staying fit is a good practice for everyone regardless of their age. But staying fit for the older adult is even more critical because aging can weaken bones and muscles. Staying in tip-top shape can help prevent or control many health conditions and even improve quality of life.

Don’t let the fact that you’re getting older stop you from living your life. Stay fit, stay healthy, and make the most of your golden years.

Tags: HEALTH

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