Remember How Much Fun It Was To Exercise?
As you get older pain and stiffness seems to increase and some days it can be hard to get out of bed, much less get up and exercise but daily exercise can reduce that pain and stiffness as getting your muscles and joints moving and pumping oxygen to your muscles will help them work better. Exercise can also lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure, help keep your bones strong and give you more energy.
You need to make the exercise as much fun as possible – you don’t have to do strenuous exercises but choose something that raises your heart rate. A brisk walk with a friend or swimming at the local pool can be invigorating and fun. Team games like basketball, tennis or walking football can provide company, fun and good exercise. You don’t have to try to keep up with anyone, just do what you are able to. If you can’t persuade a friend to exercise with you, are there any local clubs or if there is a gym you could sign up for a personal trainer. You can also get plenty of exercise from activities like gardening or playing fetch with your dog. If you don’t have a dog, is there a local rescue that needs dog walkers? Anything that gets you active will count as exercise.
If you don’t exercise, your muscles will become weak from lack of use and your bones will lose their density faster so you can be at a higher risk of and from falls and injuries. Being sedentary can raise your blood pressure and cause weight gain which in turn will put you at risk for heart issues and other health problems. Lack of exercise doesn’t just affect your body, but it can affect your mind and emotions. People who are active are less likely to be depressed and often spend more time socializing. They are able to think more clearly, don’t get as confused, have a better appetite and usually have a better diet than someone who is not active.
Fitness for seniors should be an important part of your daily life in order to stay healthy and improve your quality of life. Even if you aren’t active now, it’s never too late to start. You could begin by taking a short walk around the neighbourhood and maybe meet some of your neighbours.
It is important however, for the elderly or disabled to consult a doctor prior to trying any new physical recreational activities or exercise to be certain you are not contemplating something that could cause other problems.