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Monday, June 23, 2014

How Exercising Helps Elderly People Be Fit And Fight Illness

As people age, they usually become less active. Studies have shown that adults over the age of 65 are the most sedentary age group, spending about 10 hours every day either sitting or lying down. This inactivity can be bad for their health, and can lead to obesity, heart disease, injuries due to falls, and even early death. They may find additional aches and pains, have lower energy levels, and find it hard to do the things they used to do. Exercising and staying active is important for older adults if they want to maintain their independence, stay healthy, and continue to enjoy their quality of life.

How does exercise help?

Scientific studies have shown strong links between the amount of activity that people get, and their risk of developing strokes, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, dementia, and depression. When people get older, their bodies begin to decline in how well they function. Maintaining physical activity can help slow that decline. Seniors should stay active, or even become more active, as they get older.

Most people benefit from spending time with friends, family members, neighbors, and other social connections. Declining activity and health can make that difficult to keep up, which can have psychological as well as physical effects. Research results show that the way to keep living your life the way you want, staying independent, reducing your risk of illnesses and injuries, is to stay active. You don't need to be doing exercises at the gym all the time. There are other ways to stay active besides that.

Supplements can help seniors fight illness, exercise and stay active too. As the body ages, it can't produce melatonin anymore. This hormone is in charge of regulating the natural biorhythms of the body, which is why supplementation may be required in seniors over 65 who want to stay energized and maintain their vitality.  Further multivitamins and supplements that contain fish oil, calcium, vitamins A, B12, and folic acid, and vitamin D, should also be included into their diets.

Calcium keeps the bones healthy and healthy bones will help older people exercise on a regular basis. Fish oil keeps the heart strong, so if you're the type of person who enjoys hiking, taking omega-3 supplements may be indicated.

Recommendations for exercise and physical activity

It's really important for seniors to stay active and burn energy in order to strengthen the heart. Any type of physical activity can be beneficial for you. This could include walking around the house, playing shuffleboard, swimming, grocery shopping, or house cleaning. At the most basic level, anything that involves moving your body is helpful.  

The more you can keep moving, the better. Try to avoid long periods of sitting down, like spending hours in front of the television, working on the computer, or sitting while talking on the phone, or reading a book. When you engage in these sedentary activities, try to stand up and walk around at least once every half hour. Do a little stretching and walk around for a few minutes before sitting down again.

Add medium intensity activities and find a way to enjoy them with friends and family. Along with general movement, in order to get the greatest health benefits, you also need to include some medium intensity aerobic activities. These activities raise your heart rate, and strengthen your cardiovascular system. Here are some examples:

     -  Walking fast
     -  Pushing a lawn mower
     -  Riding a bike
     -  Doing water aerobics

Do 2.5 hours per week. This is the recommendation for the medium intensity activities. A good plan is to do about a half hour on five days of the week, which will cover your 2.5 hours for the week. Use activities like those on the list above, or other things that raise your heartbeat. Apart from omega-3s, seniors should also include coenzyme Q10 and niacin supplements into their diet. These strengthen the heart, provide the body with energy, and improve your general wellbeing.

Seniors should do things they enjoy

The more you like your chosen activity, the easier it will be to keep up with your exercise plan. Get a dog and take him out 3 times a day. It is an excellent way of exercising without feeling forced in anyway. A puppy can be an excellent companion, and it will give seniors the perfect excuse to get out of the house, socialize with people, and have a good time.

If you want to look good as well and lose some weight in the process, then a good fitness program is just what you need. Another great idea to stay active, fight illness, and be fit is to have weekly massages. Make an appointment and let yourself pampered by a therapist at least once every 3 days. A massage will strengthen your muscles, make you feel energized, and it will prevent injury. Most seniors have lower back pains, so it's definitely a good idea to massage it for better mobility.

Know when to stop tough. While exercising is excellent for the health, it's not a good idea to make abuse. Seniors are sensitive and their bodies don't respond well to an intense workout routine. Hence, they should stick to pleasant, relaxing and soothing activities to remain fit and ward off illnesses.

By Edward Francis and!