5 Reasons to Stop Being Sedentary in the Golden Years

By Patricia Schumacher, 9:00 am on

Millions of adults in the United States spend the majority of the day engaged in activities that require little physical effort. When combined with high-fat, high-sugar diets, a sedentary lifestyle eventually causes various health issues. Here are a few reasons seniors should become more active. 

1. Stave Off Cognitive Decline

Not many people realize being inactive can have a negative effect on cognitive health. Physical activity enhances the performance of the cardiovascular system, which encourages increased blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients the brain needs. Researchers from Harvard University discovered that by participating in aerobic exercise regularly, seniors can increase the size of their hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for learning and memory. Becoming more physically active may begin by taking daily walks or performing household chores more quickly. 

If your loved one needs help managing daily chores or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Rhode Island home 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.

2. Boost Emotional Health

Seniors experience emotionally difficult times for several reasons. For instance, they may lose a spouse, their health may take an unexpected turn, friends and family may live too far away, and financial setbacks may occur. However, by regularly engaging in some type of physical activity, life’s mishaps may be less emotionally overwhelming.

3. Prevent Various Medical Conditions

Sitting around for most of the day can contribute to several medical issues. Vascular circulation slows, which could lead to the development of narrowed vessels and blockages due to plaque and clot accumulation. The heart muscle weakens, and weakened leg muscles cannot effectively help blood flow to the heart and oxygen to the lungs. Blood clots may then form in the lower extremities. Seniors also often experience edema. A lack of exercise commonly leads to obesity, and bones also weaken from a lack of activity, resulting in osteoporosis. 

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Rhode Island seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

4. Increase Socialization

Older adults who have little contact with the outside world often become lonely and depressed. By getting out of the house and simply going for walks in the community, they can meet and greet residents. They may even have the chance to create friendships with other seniors who join them on their daily treks. The joy of having someone to work out with reduces the likelihood of digressing back to a sedentary lifestyle. 

5. Stimulate Creativity

Day after day of doing nothing is hardly an atmosphere that sparks motivation or creativity. Seniors don’t need to be particularly skilled or have artistic ability to indulge in making crafts or doing hobbies. By getting routine physical activity, older adults experience a heightened frame of mind and a boost of energy. They are then more inclined to engage in creative activities that can enhance cognitive ability.

If your loved one is not as active as you would like, consider hiring an in-home caregiver to encourage him or her to engage in regular physical activity. When searching for reliable Rhode Island home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved one will be well taken care of. At Home Care Assistance, our expertly trained caregivers are available around the clock to assist with tasks around the house, provide transportation to medical appointments and social events, and much more. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your aging loved one, call us at (401) 284-0979 today.