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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Health Benefits That Regular Exercise Provides to the Elderly

It is common knowledge that exercise and eating properly are essential to good health. In fact, research shows that there is an abundance of health benefits provided when you exercise regularly and it can be of particular benefit to older people. Physical activity can be an invaluable aid as you age and even moderate exercise has been shown to be beneficial to the frail or those with age related diseases.

It can be difficult to know where to start a new exercise program or to even motivate yourself to get started improving your health. In fact you do not need to start a strenuous exercise program or book multiple visits to your local gym. The best exercise is something which you enjoy; can be easily done from your home and stimulates your mind and body. Exercise can be fun!

Excuses People Find Not To Exercise

There is always a reason not to do it and it is essential to understand that the usual excuses are just excuses:

• Aging is often listed as a reason not to exercise; why fight nature? In fact, exercise will help you to stay younger looking and feeling. It will also dramatically reduce the risk of many serious illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and obesity.
• As you age exercise will tire you out, save your energy. Those who exercise increase muscle strength, balance and energy. You will be better able to deal with whatever life throws at you.
• Being too old is one of the most popular excuses; regardless of your age! In fact, you are never too old to feel the benefits of exercising. In fact, research has shown that those who start to exercise later in life are less injury prone than their counterparts.
• Disability is often used as a reason that exercise is impractical or impossible. However, there are many exercises which can be engaged in even if you are stuck in a wheelchair. Chair aerobics, Tai Chi, small weights and chair yoga are all good starting points.

Physical Benefits of Exercise

Exercise is essential to assist the body with either maintaining its weight or even losing weight. As you age your metabolism will slow down and this will make it difficult to maintain your weight. Exercising will increase you metabolic rate and you will burn more calories; this will assist in maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise has also been shown to reduce the chance and impact of any illness, including the major illnesses often associated with aging. Research has also shown that those who are physically active have a decreased chance of contracting Alzheimer’s.

Mobility, flexibility and balance are all essential no matter what age you are. Exercising as you age ensures that you remain mobile, flexible and well balanced. It improves muscle tone and posture and has even been known to reduce the symptoms of arthritis.

Mental Benefits of Exercise

Exercise has been shown to improve your sleep patterns. Older people who exercise fall asleep more easily and sleep deeper; this generally means you do not need the daily naps which often become a feature of the elderly. Being physically active has also been shown to boost your mood and confidence. Exercise releases endorphins into your body and these make you feel good. Exercise also makes you feel stronger and more confident. You have probably already heard that an active mind is essential to prevent the onset of many age related diseases. In fact, exercise has been shown to have an even more powerful effect on the brain – increasing many brain functions.

Getting Started

One of the most difficult parts of exercising is getting started. The following tips will help you to motivate yourself and actually enjoy your exercise.

• Choose an activity you enjoy – you are more likely to want to do it!
• Choose an activity which can be done from home or close to home so that you are not reliant on transport or other people to get you somewhere.
• Choose a time which suits you – there is little point committing to rising early every day if you are not normally a morning person.
• Choose a well designed fitness program, made by a professional
• Starting slow is essential if you have not exercised for some time. Build your tolerance and stamina up a little each day.
• Set yourself small, achievable goals. This will help to keep you motivated as you start exercising.
• Stop immediately if you have any problems and consult a medical professional.
• If possible, get an exercise partner to assist you with motivation and commitment.

By Edward Francis and!