From Jazzercise and Jane Fonda to TaeBo and Tony Horton, exercise gurus have been screaming at Americans to get on their feet for more than fifty years. Every year, more and more research comes out supporting the benefits of physical activity and exercise. In recent years, however, a lot of that research has focused on Seniors.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that Seniors have even more to gain from daily activity than those who are younger because of their higher risk for disease and illness. When a person over the age of 50 exercises on a regular basis, it boosts energy levels, improves strength, and helps manage pain that can result from a multitude of ailments. It helps with memory and mood, which can lead to less stressful and more productive days. People who exercise regularly are also less likely to suffer from depression and insomnia, two ailments on the rise among Seniors.
Research has shown that Seniors who are inactive are nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease as those who exercise regularly. Mental decline is slower in active Seniors. Even wounds can heal up to 25 percent faster as a result of staying active.
The diseases and conditions in Seniors that are helped by exercise is too lengthy to list. Let’s just say, it rarely hurts (as long as you know your physical limitations and have discussed your exercise program with your doctor). But, if you’re not a gym person, or couldn’t even begin to figure out the complexities of the elliptical machine, don’t worry. You don’t need fancy equipment or strenuous workouts in order to reap the positive health benefits of an exercise regimen. Simple, moderate-intensity aerobic activities like walking, pushing a lawn mower, or riding a bike can make a big difference in your overall well-being. Of course, if you’re been lifting weights and running triathlons for years, I’m sure your body is already thanking you for it.