As you all may remember from our previous blogs, there are countless physical and mental health benefits of exercise/physical activity. One of the biggest causes for physical inactivity is the short-term thoughts associated with exercise. For example you’ve had a long day at work and are feeling too tired to go to the gym and so if people are more knowledgeable about the long-term benefits of being consistently active, particularly to delay the aging process and improve the quality of life in those senior years, then more people may become active. So why should you exercise, particularly as you get towards those senior years?
Prevent falls and injury
Did you know that falls are the number one cause of injury among seniors? Resistance training which incorporates free weight exercises is particularly beneficial in improving the balance and strength of the muscles. Each decade the average individual will lose approximately 3-5% of their muscle mass. Therefore, resistance training can help prevent this muscular decline and subsequently prevent injury and falls later in life. As you may have seen from elderly family members, they may struggle to stand or even walk. Alternatively, undertaking physical activity to help prevent this muscular decline can improve their functional capacity to make tasks as simple as standing and walking, much easier later in life. As a result, this may further result in enhanced quality of life and help to maintain independent living.
Prevent diseases and extend life expectancy
As you may or may not know, at the age of 50, we are invited to our local GP to have a health assessment as we are more likely to suffer from disease(s) at 50+. Physical activity can help prevent many health problems such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, arthritis, depression and many more. As a result of preventing the development of several health problems, physical activity has therefore been associated with extended life expectancy.
Improve cognitive function
As we get older we also lose cognitive functioning which may cause reductions in memory, vocabulary and more. We also become more susceptible to developing dementia which is a neurological condition which affects the brain. All of these have been found to be prevented by being active. Studies have shown that dementia is 35% less likely among active individuals.
The earlier you start exercise in life and the more consistent you are, the more likely you are in preventing these potential health complications. It’s never too late to start! Improve your life today by being active.