6 Reasons for Seniors to Exercise as They Age

By Patricia Schumacher, 9:00 am on

During the senior years, it may be tempting to become sedentary. Older adults may stop working out if they feel like their health no longer matters, or they may complain that exercising causes pain. However, exercise is important for staying healthy and strong. The following reasons may motivate your senior loved one to start an exercise routine.

1. Maintain Joint Health

Arthritis tends to act up the most after a prolonged period of inactivity. Your loved one can alleviate arthritis symptoms by moving around regularly. Let your loved one know that exercise for arthritis doesn’t need to be strenuous. He or she can try stretching or just walking around the house for a few minutes to loosen up stiff joints.

Exercising daily can boost quality of life in the golden years. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Rhode Island families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

2. Boost Cardiovascular System Functioning

Heart health is a serious concern for seniors. Those who engage in exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes each day can boost their heart functioning. Your loved one can walk, swim, or do other forms of low-impact exercise to hit this goal.

3. Prevent Depression and Anxiety

Mental health disorders may make seniors avoid exercise. However, pushing past that wall can lift the clouds of depression. Anxiety also decreases after exercise due to the release of special hormones. Offer to exercise with your loved one if he or she needs motivation, or consider setting up a goal and reward system to make it more exciting.

4. Regain Abilities After an Illness or Injury

Seniors sometimes need to do therapeutic exercises to boost their health after a setback. Make sure your loved one has someone to help with exercise, and remind him or her of the importance of sticking to a recommended therapy workout. Each moment is designed to build strength in weakened muscles and increase flexibility.

5. Promote Better Cognitive Health

With so much focus on the body, seniors may forget that exercise can also help them think clearly. Walking and other forms of cardio exercise push blood through the brain, which boosts cognition. The best part is that the results of this process are often immediate. Your loved one may prefer to exercise before needing to do something that requires thinking, such as paying bills or writing a letter.

Because exercising stimulates the brain, it can lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Rhode Island Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives.

6. Increase Self-Confidence

Exercise simply makes older adults feel better. Hitting a workout goal provides a sense of accomplishment, and your loved one may begin to notice changes in his or her health that provide the momentum to keep going. Having strong arms and legs may make your loved one feel more confident about his or her ability to continue to age in place. Your loved one may also feel better about the future when receiving positive health test results that reflect his or her hard work. 

When engaging in physical activity, some older adults need assistance and supervision so they can remain safe and continue living in the comfort of home. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading elder care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. To find out more about how we can help your loved one enjoy a higher quality of life, call us at (401) 284-0979 today.