5 Major Benefits of Exercise for Seniors

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It’s vitally important for older adults to remain physically active. They need at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. Older adults can take exercise classes, work out with DVDs at home, or engage in some type of sport. Exercise provides seniors with many different benefits.


1. Increases Longevity

The World Health Organization reports that physical inactivity remains one of the top 10 causes of premature death or disability. Engaging in even the simplest forms of activity has the potential to extend a senior’s life span by three to five years. Exercise enhances emotional, cognitive, and physical health.

Even if seniors have mobility issues or health challenges, they can still get the benefits of exercise, especially with the help of trained professional caregivers. Home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

2. Enhances Flexibility & Mobility

There are different phases of degeneration older adults might experience. A lack of exercise causes muscle, bone, and joint weakness. If joints don’t have full range of motion, muscles weaken and connective tissues further inhibit function. If one arm cannot function normally, the body compensates by overworking the other arm, the back, and other body regions, which increases the potential for injury. By starting a regular exercise regimen, many older adults experience increased function. The World Health Organization reports that regularly exercising enables seniors to reduce the risk of bone fractures by up to 40 percent.

3. Reduces the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Biking, gardening, doing housework, and walking are common forms of physical activity that raise the heart rate. Engaging in exercise that challenges the heart strengthens the organ while enhancing blood circulation. Blood pressure decreases as the blood vessels are trained to relax, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Moderately strenuous activities might include jogging, swimming, and weight training. Regularly exercising also increases physical endurance and energy levels.

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Fort Lauderdale home care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, home care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

4. Increases Bone Density

The National Osteoporosis Society reports that half of women and 20 percent of men experience fractures secondary to osteoporosis. They lose approximately two percent of bone density each year. Engaging in weight-bearing activities increases bone density and strength. Walking, hiking, and jogging build bone density along with the weight-lifting action of strength training.

5. Lowers Dementia Risk

An article in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reported that living a sedentary lifestyle during the retirement years has the potential to increase the risk of dementia. The article explained the results of a study that followed more than 1,600 seniors over the course of five years. The study subjects who didn’t engage in some form of regular exercise were more likely to develop dementia symptoms.

Along with enhancing nutrient-rich blood flow to the brain, exercise hastens mechanisms that remove beta-amyloid proteins and other waste products from the brain and throughout the body. The proteins are known to damage neurons and interfere with communication. When this occurs, older adults experience cognitive impairment. Exercise also enables antioxidants in the blood to reduce the effects of free radicals and hormones that cause cell damage and inflammation.

Seniors who need assistance with exercising safely can benefit from the help of trained professional caregivers. Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Fort Lauderdale elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. If your loved one needs professional care, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at 754-432-8760 today.