Have You Exercised Lately?

Posted on October 11, 2016



The Benefits of Exercising for Seniors

Physical activity is essential to staying healthy and fit, especially if you’re over the age of 65. There are just too many benefits of exercising for seniors to ignore, yet only 13 percent of women over 65 exercise and 17 percent of men over 65 exercise according to the Department of Health.

Documented studies show:

  • Moderate physical activity is linked with 50 percent reduction in cardiovascular death.
  • Improvements in muscular strength, balance, gait, blood pressure and bone density.
  • The National Institute of Mental Health and Age found that older adults who engage in physical activity have reduced depression, enhanced cognitive function and a good sense of well-being.
  • Research at Yale determined regular physical exercise helps seniors live longer.

Seniors and Heart Health

Heart disease is a major risk for those over 65. The senior mortality rate for heart disease is 85 percent. Coronary artery disease is the most common. It can cause cardiovascular events, such as chest pain, arrhythmia and heart attack. It takes effort to keep your heart healthy when you’re over 65, and getting enough exercise is key. The rule of thumb is that you should engage in physical activity every day for at least 30 minutes.

What Types of Exercising Should Seniors Do?

Both aerobic and muscle building activities work well for seniors. Intensity from moderate to vigorous is determined by the person’s physician and cardiovascular health. Moderate-intensity aerobic activities produce a noticeable increase in heart rate and breathing. Good aerobic exercises include swimming, walking, biking, golf, raking leaves and tennis. Good muscle building activities for seniors include weight machines, calisthenics, yoga, tai chi and even gardening. It’s recommended that older adults do muscle-strengthening exercise at least twice a week that involve all of the major muscle groups, such as legs, arms, stomach and hips. While healthy seniors do not need to consult a doctor before engaging in physical exercising, those with chronic conditions should discuss any exercise in order to determine the appropriate types of exercise and the amount of exercise.

If you’re a senior recovering from an illness or injury, the health care professionals at PBMC Health can assist you in therapy and rehabilitation. They provide a broad range of specialty care and state-of-the-art services. Give them a call today.