The Benefits of Senior Exercises and Senior Fitness Programs
Why is Exercise and Senior Fitness Programs Important?
The stereotype of senior citizens as frail, immobile and unhealthy may not always be fair, but it is one that has some basis in fact. Studies show that adults aged 65 and older spend an average of ten hours every day either sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary population. Some people might think this is perfectly understandable considering the stereotype of the inactive senior. People lose muscle mass, bone density, flexibility and energy as they get older. When that is combined with arthritis and other joint problems, it’s easy to see why the elderly simply aren’t as physically active as younger men and women. However, this doesn’t need to be the case, and many senior citizens are paying the price for their inactivity.
Because people over the age of 65 are largely inactive compared to other age groups, they are also the ones who have higher rates of obesity, heart disease and fall-related injuries. Although there will always be unavoidable health issues that can limit one’s ability to remain active, many of the health problems facing senior citizens can be avoided with regular exercise.
The Problem with Inactivity
The biggest problem with living a sedentary lifestyle is that it physically isn’t healthy. That much is common knowledge, but what people don’t always realize is how difficult it can be to start exercising regularly after they’ve been inactive for a period of time. Long periods of inactivity causes muscles to weaken and flexibility to be lost. After a long enough period of inactivity, people start to feel as if they are physically incapable of exercising, even if that exercise is just going for a walk around the block. This causes their health problems to worsen, robbing them of the ability to enjoy even the simple pleasures of life.
Getting enough exercise and being physically fit can be difficult as a senior citizen simply because of how the human body breaks down with age. Many of the most strenuous, high-impact exercises that many younger people enjoy simply aren’t recommended for the elderly. Senior citizens should stick to easy, low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, water aerobics and cycling. All of these can help build endurance, improve range-of-motion and strengthen muscles.
Even if you don’t want to devote time to an exercise regimen, there are still things you can do as a senior citizen to stay active. Hobbies such as gardening, fishing and golf are all great activities that will provide you with some exercise and keep you mentally alert.
Old age doesn’t have to be an excuse to become inactive. Plenty of people stay fit and healthy throughout even the longest lives, and they are more likely to enjoy themselves and their time with their families. No matter who you are, you’re never too old to stay physically active.