Take a close look at the benefits gained from physical activity and the list is rather impressive.
- Controls the swelling and pain of arthritis
- Lowers the risk of developing diabetes and is recommended for its treatment
- Reduces the risk of falling and having bone fractures
- Strengthens bones and minimizes the risk of osteoporosis
- Maintains muscles and joints
- Decreases the risk of colon cancer
- Improves mood and well-being
- Lowers stress, anxiety and depression
- Decreases the risk of high blood pressure
- Diminishes the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and heart attack
- Reduces blood pressure among some individuals with hypertension
- Increases stamina and muscle strength among individuals with chronic conditions (Source)
The above list does not even include the benefit of weight loss. My neighbour proudly announced that she has lost 10 pounds during the last few weeks. She achieved this through her new power-walking regime that she started in order to rebuild her stamina following surgery.
Choose An Active Life
While we all recognize that engaging in physical activity is an important component of overall health, it is easy to ignore our commitment to maintaining exercise in our busy lives. Unfortunately, activity levels decrease with age. By age 75, about one third of men and fifty percent of women do not participate in physical activity. Over time, the reduction of stamina and loss of strength generally attributed to aging is partially due to decreased physical activity. When we look at the cost of inactivity and compare this to the benefits of exercise, it is clear that it is time to make a renewed personal commitment to physical activity.
Taking a Look at the Ease of Exercise
The most popular physical activities among adults age 65 plus are walking and gardening. Both of these activities provide a huge psychological boost and can also be turned into social activities by inviting someone to join you. Hence, you can gain a lot more than just physical stimulation. This makes exercise more fun.
Excellent options for exercise abound:
- Take a walk in a park and enjoy nature
- Check out senior centres and park and recreation programs
- Join a fitness centre
- Try dance, yoga, tai chi or aqua fit, and sign up with a friend
Any activity that curtails a sedentary lifestyle and gets you out of the house can be of benefit. For example, doing errands, meeting a friend for tea or volunteering in the community all encourage you to be active.
Choose an active life! It is never too late to add some physical activity to your daily life. In fact, from September 22nd to 29th individuals are encouraged to be more active during Active Aging Week.
Regular exercise is an important component of overall wellness and a key part of healthy aging. Promote your own good health. Make this week a good time to become more active.