Benefits of Exercise for Seniors

September 12, 2018

Benefits of Exercise for Seniors…Everyone can agree that exercise is good for you. Although some people feel that as people get older, they should try to do less, this couldn’t be more wrong.

Regular exercise for aging adults and seniors has a number of health benefit, including but not limited to extending lifespan.

Fact: Only 25 percent of people ages 65 to 74 exercise regularly

Data from the National Institute for Aging shows that exercise is not only good for people of ages, it can also help ease symptoms of chronic conditions. Things like poor balance and weakness are not always symptoms of aging; in many cases, these types of issues are linked to inactivity.

Seniors who get regular exercise can experience increases in coordination, strength and most importantly, in confidence.

Reasons to help your aging parents move more

A fitness coach in Southern California who volunteers at a nursing home twice a week agrees.

The work she does with her clients may be simple, such as having them step from side to side and having them sit in chairs while using lightweight dumbbells to raise their arms over their head, but these small changes can have an enormous impact in their day to day lives.

After a few weeks of light dumbbell movements, one of her clients is now almost able to fully extend her right elbow. Now, this woman is able to wash her hair and behind her neck on her own. All of this is related to her improved mobility thanks to performing basic, functional movements.

She also spoke of another client who had difficulty with balance. Walking was a challenge because her knees would cave in. The trainer helped the woman with basic squatting movements, which included standing up and sitting down from a chair. After five months, the trainer said, the woman is able to walk on her own. Her knees no longer cave in.

Ultimately, basic exercise can help seniors gain strength and prevent falls, in addition to living longer and improving bone density. It also provides them with greater confidence and independence.

If your aging parent has a home health aide, and you’re able to help your parent move more, this could help delay their need to move into a Naples nursing home.

Remember, exercise for seniors doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult. By helping them engage in simple, functional movements, their quality of life can improve drastically.