Staying active might be one of the most important things you can do during your retirement years. Studies have found that maintaining an active lifestyle carries numerous benefits for retired individuals. For example, one recent study revealed senior citizens who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from severe illnesses than those who don’t. Additionally, seniors who stay physically fit often enjoy increased mobility and greater independence than their sedentary counterparts.
Here are six ways senior health is improved by staying active.
1. It Improves Quality of Life
There’s a good chance that your fitness goals will change during retirement. Instead of trying to build muscle or train for a marathon, you’ll likely focus more on improving your quality of life as you age. Some seniors experience a loss of independence as they get older and this can affect their lives negatively. Although home modifications and increasing senior home safety can help with getting around their homes, it’s not an excuse to avoid exercise.
It’s recommended that people over 65 engage in 30 to 40 minutes of low-impact exercise daily. This can include walking, swimming (in the summer), or gardening. Exercise is a great way for seniors to improve their quality of life, and regular physical activity can help senior citizens stay strong, mobile, and independent.
2. It Helps Limit Weight Gain
Maintaining a healthy weight is vital as we grow older because it reduces the risk of serious illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Unfortunately, our metabolisms naturally slow down as we age.
This means our bodies are less efficient when it comes to burning fat. With regular exercise, we can counteract the effects of our slowing metabolisms by increasing our calorie-burning capabilities.
3. It Improves Mobility
When senior citizens don’t exercise, they often experience a decline in strength and coordination as well as poor balance. This can make it challenging to get around safely. Fortunately, regular exercise can lead to improved mobility, which will make it much easier to go about your everyday activities without worrying about falling down.
In addition, exercising regularly can significantly reduce the risk of falling down. It is said that senior citizens who engage in regular exercise are less likely to suffer from dangerous falls than those who don’t.
4. It Improves Our Sleep
As you age, you might experience trouble sleeping through the night due to various health problems. While certain medications can help, health experts suggest they should be a last resort. Exercising regularly can improve your quality of sleep and make it easier to fall asleep at night even if you suffer from illnesses.
In many cases, seniors can fall asleep more easily after engaging in a daily exercise routine. Exercise causes the body to release endorphins, making it easier to relax and fall asleep.
5. It Improves Immune Function
Research has found senior citizens over the age of 65 who are physically active are better equipped to fight off illness. When you become physically active, your immune systems can better ward off germs and other dangerous organisms.
Our bodies can become vulnerable to illness and disease when we don’t exercise regularly. When you exercise regularly and stay active, your immune system gains a significant boost of strength. Additionally, senior citizens who exercise regularly have a stronger immune system and are less likely to get sick than senior citizens who don’t.
6. It Keeps Us Healthy
According to health experts, regular exercise is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. For example, individuals who exercise regularly typically have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke than those who don’t.
In our older years, many of us are at an increased risk for osteoporosis, a debilitating bone disease that often leads to broken bones. Fortunately, senior health experts say regular exercise can improve our bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, making it less likely we’ll suffer from broken bones.
The Bottom Line
While it might be challenging to get motivated to exercise regularly, senior health experts say staying active is one of the best ways senior citizens can improve their health, both physical health and mental health. It’s highly important to make staying active a priority. Staying physically active will maintain our immune functions, coordination, and improve the quality of our sleep, among many other elderly health benefits.
Senior citizens who engage in regular exercise can live healthy and active lives well into advanced age. To support exercising as a senior, we’ve made our Starhaven Villas community an active adult community. Here, you’ll find a number of ways to stay active and live close to people the same age as you, making exercising a social activity too. We have a putting green available to all of our residents, as well as a pickle ball court and several nearby walking trails. There’s no shortage of options to help you stay active in retirement.