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The Benefits of Exercise as You Age

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A senior woman and a senior man smiling while walking in a park.

As we grow older, our bodies and minds can change. It’s important to focus on your mental and physical health at every age, as these directly relate to your quality of life. And one of the best ways to do this is through regular exercise.

Exercise can bring all kinds of benefits for older adults, from supporting physical health to helping with cognitive function and enhancing quality of life. Whether you or your family enjoy the benefits of assisted living, live on your own, or live with other family members, regular exercise is an extremely important way to maintain your quality of life. 

If you or your family members struggle with mobility problems, don’t worry—there are many ways you can still get regular exercise with limited mobility!

How Exercise Supports Your Physical Health

Exercise is one of the best ways to maintain your physical health, especially as you get older. When it comes to aging, it’s common to experience muscular degeneration and a decrease in bone density, making the risk of falling and hurting oneself significantly higher. Regular exercise can combat these problems and keep you physically healthier and safer.

Another benefit regular exercise brings is support for cardiovascular health. Exercising often can help reduce blood pressure and the risk of developing heart disease!

Regular exercise can also help you maintain your balance, flexibility, and coordination, which can help reduce the risk of falling and other injuries and can reduce stiffness and joint pain! 

How Exercise Supports Your Mental Health

Regular exercise isn’t just beneficial for your physical health—it can support your mental health as well. Aging can lead to cognitive decline, but exercising can help reduce cognitive decline

Exercise can also release endorphins, which are a natural chemical your body produces that can help improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. This can be extremely beneficial for seniors combatting feelings of loneliness and isolation experienced later in life. 

There are also exercises that can be done in a group for all kinds of social opportunities! For example, joining a walking group or an indoor class can give someone the chance to meet new people with a shared interest. If you’re in a senior living community, it’s worth looking into the events and activities that offer social opportunities to get active. 

Another large benefit that exercise brings is that it’s been linked to an increase in sleep quality! It can also reduce the average time it takes you to fall asleep. It’s important to note, though—exercising later at night can do the opposite, so it’s recommended to exercise earlier in the day!

A senior woman wearing swimming goggles while swimming in a pool.

How Much Exercise Do Seniors Need?

Regular exercise can bring many benefits to your health and wellness, but there’s one important question remaining: how much physical activity do seniors need? 

It’s recommended that adults 65 or older get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. This can be broken up however you like—for example, into 5 periods of 30 minutes each. When it comes to moderate activities, you could try:

  • Taking a brisk walk around your community
  • Going for a short hike
  • Swimming 
  • Water aerobics
  • Tai chi or yoga
  • Gardening

If you struggle with limited mobility, don’t worry! There are many exercises for adults with mobility concerns

In addition to these activities, it’s recommended to perform muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice a week. Whether this is weight training, stretches, or using resistance bands, muscle-strengthening exercises can help combat the muscular degeneration often associated with aging. It’s also recommended to perform balance exercises at least once a week to keep your balance and coordination strong.

By performing functional exercises that focus on your balance and overall strength, you can keep your body physically healthy!

How Exercise Can Support Your Quality of Life

Regular exercise is an excellent way to support your physical and mental health, but it can support your overall quality of life as well. For example, exercising can help maintain your metabolism, which often slows down as you get older. 

One of the biggest benefits exercise can bring as you age is that it can help combat joint pain and stiffness. It can also help improve your posture to support your overall health.

Staying Active at Bentley Commons at Bedford

It’s important to find an exercise routine that works for you. Whether you struggle with limited mobility, live in a senior living community, or are worried about your overall health, exercise is an excellent way to keep yourself physically and mentally happy and maintain your quality of life. 

If you or a loved one are in need of a senior living community that gives residents the support they need to maintain an active lifestyle, schedule a tour with us here at Bentley Commons at Bedford today! We’re committed to helping the members of our community maintain their quality of life with plenty of opportunities for active living.

Written by bentley

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