Home & Hearth Caregivers Uncovers the Myths and Benefits of Exercise for Seniors

The gains of remaining physically active are substantial and apply to all of us, young and old alike. Too often when we hear experts make recommendations for people to become physically active, we incorrectly presume that they are suggesting that we become athletes, runners, or body builders. We could also erroneously believe that we need to hire a personal trainer, join the local gym, or register for a 5K. Rather, what experts are encouraging people to do is really quite straightforward – get your body in action and keep it moving as much as you can. This is applicable to older adults just as much as to their younger counterparts. As a matter of fact, seniors may even reap benefits from exercise more than younger adults from staying active.

If you consider it, moving can involve a very wide array of activities. According to a study of adults ages 72 to 80, elderly “couch potatoes” were much more likely to die within about six years than individuals whose lives included regular activity no more strenuous than washing dishes, vacuuming, gardening, or climbing stairs. Even moderate exercise and physical activity can improve the health of those who are frail or who have age-related diseases. As the old saying goes, “Move it or lose it.”

Here are some typical misconceptions about exercise for seniors:

  • Older adults are unable to exercise.
  • It’s unwise and dangerous for seniors to begin an exercise program.
  • The elderly gain few benefits from exercise.
  • It is too challenging to set up exercise programs for the elderly.

Contrarily, being physically active and exercising regularly can do the following for the elderly:

  • Help prevent or delay some diseases and disabilities, and in some cases, actually improve certain conditions.
  • Enhance mood.
  • Increase stamina and improve the health of the heart, lungs and circulatory system.
  • Aid in preventing a significant cause of disability in the elderly through balance exercises: falling.
  • Provide older adults with the strength to maintain independence and prevent injury by performing resistance training exercise just one day a week.
  • Result in reversal of the brain shrinkage that happens as individuals age.

“Movement is what keeps us alive,” said 90-year-old personal trainer Moe Carson when he made an appearance on the Rachel Ray show. Moe also claims it does not matter when you start – just start. Staying active is important for everyone at every age. View the video here.

At Home & Hearth Caregivers, we are experienced in discovering safe techniques to keep seniors active while providing them with assisted living in their own homes. To learn more about our Chicago area personal care aid services, please contact us today.

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