According to the latest reports from the medical sector, almost half of adults over the age of 50 don’t get enough exercise. Some simply don’t have the energy to be physically active. Others lack the will to exercise. In certain instances, weakness and a lack of balance and coordination discourage people from taking part in physical activities. Unfortunately, failing to exercise regularly can have serious consequences. It tends to create a downward spiral of declining health.
Being Proactive in Seniors’ Health
At Summerfield of Stockton, we’re committed to keeping seniors healthy and active. We know just how important physical activity is to aging Americans, and we provide an array of programs designed to keep our residents active. As a leading memory care community in Stockton, CA, we provide everything your loved one needs to live a full, happy life.
Why Is Active Living So Important for Seniors?
Many people, including seniors and their younger loved ones, fail to understand the importance of staying active as a person ages. After all, retirement is a time to slow down and take it easy, right? While that’s true to an extent, seniors shouldn’t fall into sedentary lifestyles. Active living is essential for maintaining physical and mental health. Consider some of the reasons remaining active in an independent living community is crucial for aging Americans.
Remaining active is the key to faster, more effective healing based on numerous medical studies. The body’s ability to heal after injuries and surgical procedures naturally decreases with age. Circulation tends to slow down, and bones and soft tissues become less elastic. Exercise helps seniors to heal faster by improving circulation. It can also improve the body’s ability to regulate a natural hormone called cortisol, which some experts believe is key in the healing process.
We’ve already noted that exercise increases blood flow. While that’s important for healing, it also has several other positive effects. Better circulation can reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems. It also sends more blood to the brain. That, in turn, helps prevent cognitive decline. Improved circulation can help keep all the body’s organs and muscles healthier, which promotes wellness from several aspects.
Increased Strength and Stability
Assisted living communities offer a variety of senior living options for residents. Those include various exercise programs designed to target different issues seniors may face. Some of the most common problems in this regard are declining balance and stability. Certain exercises can combat these issues by strengthening the muscles and improving coordination.
By extension, exercise can make seniors who suffer from coordination issues less likely to lose their balance and sustain injuries. That gives them a much-needed boost of confidence. In turn, it encourages them to remain more active and participate in other activities available at a community for seniors, such as social gatherings. The value of added confidence alone is immeasurable. Furthermore, exercise programs are designed to be completely safe for seniors with minimal impacts on the joints.
Mitigating Medical Conditions
Exercise can help to mitigate a long list of medical conditions, too. Those include diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease to name a few. Studies indicate that physical activity can reduce the risk of dementia or slow its progression as well. At the very least, regular exercise can reduce aches and pains, helping seniors to enjoy a higher quality of life.
Another benefit of physical activity is improved mental wellness. As previously mentioned, increased confidence levels may also be attributed to activity, but the benefits run even deeper than that. Exercise reduces stress, leads to better sleep, and releases endorphins. All these factors foster mental and emotional wellness. Physical activity reduces the risk of developing anxiety and depression, too.
At the same time, participating in fitness classes helps prevent isolation and loneliness that are so common among seniors. This also leads to better mental health, and the effects extend well beyond exercise programs. When seniors meet new acquaintances in their exercise classes, they may be more likely to join them for social events and enrichment programs. Being more social and keeping the mind focused can also foster mental and emotional well-being.
Staying Active for Better Health
Physical activity is important for people of all ages, but it is particularly valuable for seniors. Staying active can ward off many medical conditions, speed up the healing process, and promote mental wellness to name a few positive effects. Though seniors often shy away from exercise, encouraging them to take the opposite approach is essential. It helps create a positive cycle of change that improves numerous aspects of their lives.