Pacific Care Center provides our residents regular opportunities to participate in exercise. The many benefits of exercise include a healthier heart, stronger bones, and improved appearance and flexibility.
However, many characteristics we associate with older age – the inability to walk long distances, climb stairs, or carry groceries – are largely due to physical inactivity, according to geriatric physicians.
According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 40 percent of people between the ages of 45 and 64 are considered sedentary. For people over 64, that number jumps to 60 percent. That’s because some worry that exercise will cause illness or injury. Others think exercise means they must do something strenuous, which they may not be capable of. What they may not realize, however, is that it may be more of a risk not to exercise.
Senior residents benefit a great deal from regular exercise. The Centers for Disease Control reports that seniors have even more to gain than younger people by becoming more active because they are at higher risk for the health problems that physical activity can prevent.
Even moderate physical activity can help seniors to:
- Increase mental capacity
- Research links physical activity with slower mental decline. Exercise increases blood flow to all parts of your body, including your brain, and might promote cell growth there. Exercise — particularly if it starts early and is maintained over time — is beneficial in preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. (Source: Senior Journal.com)
- Prevent disease
- Exercise may delay or prevent many diseases associated with aging, such as diabetes, colon cancer, heart disease, stroke, and others, and may reduce overall death and hospitalization rates, according to the National Institute of Aging.
- Improve healing
- Injuries and wounds take longer to heal as people age. Regular exercise by older adults may speed up the wound-healing process by as much as 25 percent.” (Source: Senior Journal.com)