Training for Seniors: Why It’s Never Too Late To ‘Turn Back’ Time.
At what age are we “too old” to begin training our bodies and working out? Spoiler alert: there is none! Today is as good as any day to start to strengthen and preserve our bodies. Exercise has many health benefits and can even “turn back” our biological clock. Joining a fitness program or regime in our golden years, even without proper training (or any at all!) in the past, is one of the healthiest choices you can make for yourself. Read on to learn about the perks of fitness and why seniors and aging adults (especially!) should exercise:
6 Benefits of Exercise for Seniors and Aging Adults
There are so many ways that exercise can benefit your life- especially as an aging adult. Whether you are just beginning to train or are familiar with exercise coaching, physical activity can provide many advantages.
Reverse Muscle Loss
Did you know that everyone begins to lose muscle mass around the age of 30? According to Harvard Medical School and the National Institutes of Health, muscle mass decreases by up to 8% every decade after we reach age 30! This degradation adds up to quite a high body percentage and can lead to serious adverse outcomes. But, lucky for all of us, our bodies can regain muscle mass through strength training.
Whether you have had any previous training is irrelevant to your ability to start today. Fitness is good for the body at every age and provides much-needed stimulus to retain muscle, which leads us to…
Prevent Falling Down
Each year, more than 25 percent of adults 65 or older have a fall. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency departments treat over 3 million individuals every year for injuries related to falling.
Your body requires more than just strong muscles to prevent injury. While training doesn’t eliminate your risk of falling, it significantly improves your chances of avoiding a fall. Exercise improves balance and coordination by honing your balance and toning your body. Most people associate training with muscle improvements but often overlook that bone is a living tissue that responds to exercise too! Your fitness regime can build bone density and harden your body against sustaining damage.
Osteoporosis isn’t the only disease that exercise can prevent.
Keep Disease At Bay – or even overturn illnesses!
There are so many diseases related to living a stationary life. On the other hand, exercise can prevent quite a few of them, including:
- Osteoporosis (by strengthening bone tissue)
- Diabetes (from regulating hormones)
- Heart disease
- And more!
Regular training improves overall immune function. Even light exercise, like walking, can be a powerful “medicine” and preventative care tool for your arsenal. Your body needs movement to improve.
Improve Cognitive Function
Daily training has many benefits to your overall cognitive function. For example, it can improve memory, reduce depression, anxiety, and stress, and promote overall mood!
According to the Alzheimers Foundation, individuals (with a median age of 82) in the bottom ten percent of daily physical activity were more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as those in the top 10 percent. Another similar study showed that regular exercise could reduce the risk of dementia by thirty percent!
A surprising amount of people live with lower back pain, which can be debilitating. Studies have shown that aerobics and strength training alike are helpful to treat back pain. Proper care and targeted exercise can strengthen the back, stomach, and leg muscles, supporting the spine and relieving back pain.
You could eradicate chronic pain utilizing gentle, regular training programs. A word of caution: Individuals with chronic ailments should seek help and approval from doctors and expert trainers before starting their fitness journey.
Create a more tight-knit community
Exercise programs offer a way for seniors to engage in the community and meet other like-minded individuals. Whether you enjoy fitness classes or daily walks, training can become a fun social activity to look forward to. You can use your exercise time to build social ties and prevent loneliness or depression. The most important part of exercising is finding an activity that you enjoy and look forward to!