Taking Care of Your Folks During Their Golden Years

6 Benefits Of Exercise For Seniors

Exercise is very beneficial for seniors, but many of them shy away from it because they worry about getting injured. The truth is that not exercising can pose more risks. If your elderly loved one is reluctant to exercise, you should explain how it can help them. Here are six benefits of exercise for seniors you should know about:

It Improves Memory and Thinking Skills

Alzheimer's disease and dementia are more common in the elderly, so it is very important for them to stay mentally sharp. Regular exercise can improve memory and thinking skills by stimulating the release of growth factors in the brain. Working out frequently can also improve mood and sleep, reducing the risk of cognitive impairment. 

It Increases Balance

Falls are more common in the elderly and can result in hip fractures and other serious injuries. Good balance can reduce the risk of falling in seniors. Luckily, there are plenty of balance exercises seniors can do, including tai chi. This low-impact exercise can improve elderly people's balance and provide other health benefits. Encourage your senior family member to take a tai chi class at a local senior center or senior living community.

It Prevents Diseases

Certain diseases are more common in the elderly, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Exercising regularly can prevent or delay these health conditions in seniors. 

It Increases Immune Function

Seniors have weaker immune systems than younger people, so they tend to get sick more often. Regular physical activity can strengthen the body and improve its ability to fight off illnesses. Seniors who exercise regularly will get sick less often and recover from illnesses faster.

It Speeds Up Wound Healing

Wounds take longer to heal in elderly people because they have a slower inflammatory response and reduced skin elasticity. Regular exercise can speed up the wound healing process in seniors.

It Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight

Metabolisms slow down as people get older, so elderly people may be more likely to be overweight. Exercise can help seniors burn more calories throughout the day and stay at a healthy weight.

As you can see, exercise can have tremendous benefits for elderly people. If your elderly loved one has not started an exercise program yet, you should encourage them to do so soon. Seniors can benefit from both aerobic and strength training exercises. However, before your family member engages in any exercise program, make sure their doctor approves it.