One of the abiding myths as we age is that illness and loss of physical ability are inevitable, and much reduced quality of life must follow.The good news is that this is simply not true.Although,when you grow older, keeping energy up, your independence intact and staying free of illnesses and pain does become more difficult.
According to the nihseniorhealth website – staying physically active and exercising regularly can produce long-term health benefits and even improve health for some abler people who already have diseases and disabilities.That’s why health experts say that older people should aim to be as active as possible
Scientists and medical researchers have proved over and over again that physical activity is medicine to older adults – and can prevent or even reverse some of these symptoms. Discouragement and depression may set in for older people who are unable to be active, but there are some great exercises which can boost confidence and increase endurance as you age.
Proven exercises to increase and maintain your stamina
Exercising as you age involves choosing various types of exercises to build a balanced program and one that fits your level of fitness. Some of the best exercises to build stamina include a mix of the following:
Cardio – If you’re suffering from fatigue or problems catching your breath, you may need to consider some cardio exercise such as swimming and walking or some more strenuous exercises (depending on your fitness level) such as tennis, climbing stairs and dancing. Even housecleaning can help your cardio system.
Strength building– Building muscle by strength training is important to prevent muscle and bone mass loss and improves your balance, which is important to avoid falls as you age. You may use machines, weights, elastic bands or any method that uses resistance to build strength.
Flexibility exercises – Stretches are easy, even for those seniors who are less mobile than others. Tai Chi and Yoga are great examples of gentle stretching which involves movements that keep your muscles and joints flexible and apt to be injured if you fall. Ordinary exercises such as lifting your arms to shampoo your hair or swinging your grandchildren are also great flexibility exercises.
Posture and balance exercises – Again, Tai Chi and Yoga hit the mark for being the exercises to do if you want to maintain your balance and stability. Standing up and raising one foot to your knee is a good balance exercise and the old exercise of walking around while balancing a book on your head is a good one for maintaining the correct posture.
By using the above exercises to increase your stamina, you’ll be increasing your health on several levels. Mixing the exercises keep them from becoming monotonous and finding exercises which you enjoy is mentally stimulating.
Other benefits of the exercises include helping older people maintain weight or lose weight, if needed. Metabolism is increased and a better night’s sleep is possible. The possibility of a devastating illness or chronic disease is also lessened – and your digestive system will begin to work much better.
Exercise to reduce the risk of disease
Exercise benefits the young and old, but older people may benefit most by using exercise to delay or prevent illnesses that may be brought on with age. Some of the benefits besides becoming healthier and stronger are an improved appearance and more acute mental capabilities. Exercise may help to prevent falls by helping seniors develop more balance.
If you are a sedentary senior you are at risk of health problems which physical exercise may prevent such as cardio and joint problems. Mental capacity may also be impaired because of lack of blood flow to the brain to promote cell growth. It’s now believed that physical exercise can go far to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Faster and better healing is also a benefit from exercise. It’s true that the healing process slows as you age, but exercise can keep the organs, including the skin, healthy and in better shape so surgery and wounds heal faster and better.
Flexibility and balance are two more benefits of exercising. With age we often lose a sense of balance because of many reasons, including medications. Exercise can help prevent the falls that may lead to a loss of independence and serious disabilities and drastic lifestyle changes.
The psychological benefits of exercise for older people are the same as for the remainder of the population. Exercise increases the production of endorphins in the brain which can prevent depression and anxiety in all of us. Seniors are especially apt to become more reclusive and become depressed and isolated without incorporating exercise into their lives.
Yoga and Tai Chi are two exercises which are based on movements and breathing, which greatly benefit seniors and isn’t intimidating to try. Deep breathing can help the entire body by bringing oxygen to restore and heal and the gentle stretching motions can promote mobility in seniors who may have been bedridden or inactive for a long period of time.
Life expectancy is increased when seniors add exercises to their lifestyle.Diseases and disabilities may be greatly delayed or even prevented and the chances of a more active lifestyle are increased. It doesn’t have to be intense exercise for the odds of living life longer to increase – it’s based more on consistency, even if the exercise is done in moderation. Even exercises such as walking in place for 10 minutes at one time can make a difference.
Be sure to get medical clearance from your physician before beginning any type of exercise program and discuss your current medical condition. Find out if there are any activities that you should avoid and ask which ones will improve a current medical condition.
Now isn’t it time for a walk? Benefiting from walking is a great start! Do you agree?