Seniors Should Workout
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Somewhere along the line, we will age and realize we’re seniors. Maybe that used to be a scary thought in the past, but today’s seniors are healthier, more active and happier than ever. Being a senior is actually the ‘beginning of the beginning to really enjoy your life without shouldering all the responsibilities you once had at work or raising a family.

There are information, advice, and tips to help everyone age gracefully. While they might differ in some details, you will not find anything that will tell you to stop exercising once you age. On the contrary, this isn’t the time to cop out! Exercise and staying active are vital to keeping you healthy and fit.

Exercise is beneficial at any age and has extra benefits for seniors. Why is that?

  • Sarcopenia: Adults can lose 3%-5% of muscle mass every decade starting in their 30s. Even active young adults will lose muscle mass eventually. 
  • Muscle mass strengthens our bones and improves our mobility (which will help with fall prevention).

  •  When those two factors are compromised, it will decrease your independence to do certain things on your own. Loss of body mass is due to an age-related factor known as sarcopenia. Sarcopenia can start as early as 65 and accelerates at around 75 years of age. The main action to take for sarcopenia is exercise by mainly strength training using weights. It’s recommended to do strength training around twice a week.
  • Cardiovascular Improvement: Improving your strength often comes by increasing your cardiovascular endurance. Different aerobic exercises can do that, including outdoor or indoor rowing. Suppose you enjoy rowing but don’t live near a body of water to do so. In that case, you can benefit just as much from an indoor rowing machine which will work major muscle groups, including quads, hamstrings, back, shoulders, biceps, traps, lats, glutes and abdominal muscles. It’s a great option that works your heart and lungs and enhances your lung’s ability to provide oxygen to the blood. This process, over time, improves cardiovascular performance, and your body will adapt to future exertion. It’s considered a full-body workout, but it is also a low-impact activity on the knees and joints, which elderly people tend to complain about.
Cardiovascular Improvement
  • Reduce Healing Time: The older we get, the longer it takes time to heal from a wound, surgery or illness. The reason for that is due to the complexity of the immune system. Some parts of the immune system deteriorate as we get older. For example, ageing affects the function of white blood cells called macrophages. These cells play key immune roles, especially in healing and repairing a wound. Yet, when seniors practice regular exercise, they can decrease the healing time of damages by 25%. Generally, a healthy and robust body can fight off illness and injury in a shorter time.
  • Prevent Disease: We should all know by now that prevention is more accessible than cure. Many health problems that seniors face may be preventable when they are healthy and robust. If prevention isn’t always possible, you can at least delay the onset of ailments like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis, just to name a few. If you have a chronic condition, exercise can help with the symptoms. For instance, recent studies have shown that interval training is often tolerated well in people with heart disease. Exercise can also help people who suffer from asthma attacks by lessening the frequency and severity of attacks.
  • Cognitive Benefits: Your physical body is not the only thing that benefits because your brain also does. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience dementia and cognitive impairment. You don’t have to have been exercising all your life to reap mental and physical benefits from exercise. Regardless of when you begin an exercise routine, you will receive the benefits when you start. Exercise also releases the ‘happy’ hormone, endorphin, leaving you feeling happy and satisfied.

When you combat all the effects of ageing through exercise, you will lead a happier life since it will fight off symptoms of depression and also improve your sleeping habits if you have insomnia. Combined with a healthy diet, there’s no debate that exercise is even more needed in your senior years than in your younger years. It can increase your life expectancy. The key for elders is consistency rather than intensity. That little exercise you can do several times a week will take a long way to enjoy your senior years.