We all have this common misconception that too much movement and activities are just too dangerous for seniors. In all honestly, it is the opposite that puts them at jeopardy. Staying inactive for such a long period of time not only makes them a victim of many diseases, but also lowers their life expectancy.
As we begin to age, our bones become brittle and the muscles lean towards shortening; as a result, elderly people begin having trouble staying active, flexible, and simply, coordinating their movements. That is where all the exercises and physical fitness techniques come in handy.
In addition, keeping the blood flowing during exercise helps the mind stay active also. One senior that we knew well remained active his entire life, by making sure he exercised to what would equate to walking 10 or more city blocks a day, every day. Our patient lived till he was 99 years old, four months before he reached 100. In this case of course, he was totally independent and did not need the convalescence of a nursing home, but for those that are already residing in nursing homes, it cannot be more emphasised that the individual exercise everyday (of course, under a doctor’s guidance*).
Let’s discover the importance of exercising and how exercise can help people in their later years:
As we grow older, we begin to grow weak. Exercise is one of the most effective means of maintaining our strength. Sitting in the same spot for hours and avoiding any kind of physical exertion will not only make the seniors inactive, but will also bring several physical problems with it; one of them being atrophied muscles. Regular movements and even basic exercises, such as walking, could lead to better mobility and an active lifestyle.
David C. Niemen, a Ph.D. doctor and author, believes that the effect of physical activity on healing is so high that no medicine can even come close to replicating its effects. It was found that people who begin exercising early built up a better immune system which subsequently helped them deal with their injury faster.
It is not just physical fitness that can be achieved through exercises. In fact, it is our mental health that benefits from it too, just like most people run to get rid of their stress or play their favorite sports to release all that strain. Similarly, an elderly person too can have a positive effect on their mental health by doing exercises. Just taking a light stroll down the street on a bright sunny day can do wonders to lift their spirits.
Exercises are a solution to many of the senior problems and one of them includes loneliness and solitude. Joining group exercises and group activities will not only help seniors deal with all the rigidness in their bones, but will also give them an excellent opportunity to meet new people and have a positive impact on their life.
Prevents Injuries and Accidents
Most fatal injuries in seniors are caused by falling, which incidentally happens because of their bad coordination. Due to aging, muscles begin to grow weak and the only way to stay up to date with their body is through exercising. It will reduce the chances of falling and ultimately, lead to fewer risks of deadly injuries.
Sleepless nights are just a side effect of growing old and the best way to deal with it is to have enough physical exertion in the daytime that will enable them to sleep peacefully at night.
Do not wait until later to get your elders in the habit of exercising. At the first sign of weakness, visit a doctor for an exercise plan and then reap the benefits.
* Disclaimer. This article is for information purposes only and as such, we highly recommend that the patient or the patient’s guardians refer to a physician for the appropriate type and amount of exercise that should be recommended for the person in question.