While it is common, “slowing down” as we get older is not necessarily a good thing.
Many of us do become increasingly sedentary as we age because of health issues, pain, weight, or concerns about balance and breaks if we fall.
Research suggests that as we age being active actually becomes increasingly important.
It’s the impact of the benefits of an active life that become more apparent as we age.
By staying active or starting to become active if you were not a big exerciser in your younger years, you will notice some genuine benefits to your health.
Active seniors enjoy greater independence, higher energy levels, better cardiovascular health and are limiting the symptoms of illnesses and many types of injuries through this lifestyle choice.
Being active regularly is also great for your mind, memory ability and mood.
What are the main benefits of being active in your senior years?
A study in Sweden found that physical activity was conclusively the most significant contributor to longevity amongst the factors surveyed, adding extra years to your life EVEN if you don’t start exercising until your senior years. But getting active is not only about living for longer it’s also about adding to the quality of that life.
“This result may help convince currently inactive people that a modest physical activity program may have health benefits, even if it does not result in weight loss,” as commented on by Steven Moore of the US National Cancer Institute who headed a summary of the Swedish study.
So, you even with a moderate level of regular activity you will receive important benefits. You will most likely notice that when you exercise you feel more switched on, have more energy and feel a stronger sense of well-being in general.
Some Benefits of an Active Life
A reduction in the impact of chronic diseases and illness
Seniors and people in general who are active usually experience improved immunity and digestion systems, healthier blood pressure and bone density, there is even a lower chance of Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.
Better mobility and balance
Exercise improves the strength of your body – your flexibility and even your posture. These side effects all assist with balance and coordination which can help you to maintain agility and reduce the risk of falls that can lead to serious injuries.
Better sleeping patterns, mood and cognitive ability
An active lifestyle has been observed to assist us in getting a night of better, deeper sleep. Having a quality sleep pattern is essential to maintain your overall health.
Physical activity is a known stress reliever, and that applies at any age.
Being active can also help you to feel more confident and clear-minded, it can support a range of brain functions – from creative functions to memory retention.
Some Tips for Overcoming obstacles to getting active as you get older
Being a regularly active person can be challenging at any age.
As a senior, you may feel disinclined because of current health problems and concerns. But even moderate activities can help your health, so check with your doctor first and then look at some basic startup options if you are just beginning to focus on becoming active.
The benefits can be gained with activities that don’t involve gym workouts or heavy cardio sports; just get your body moving. Community sports can help by adding a social component, our PCYC Senior Boxing clubs are a big hit for example across many communities in NSW.
So, get active today and enjoy the many health improvements coming your way.