4 benefits of remaining physically active as you age

It's important for seniors to maintain a healthy lifestyle to support both their aging mind and body. By staying physically active, seniors have the ability to reduce their likeliness of becoming ill, as well as enhance their mobility and flexibility to remain independent for as long as possible.

Maintaining Independence
A study from the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders trial—published in the Journal of the American Medical Association—stated that seniors who followed a health program and structured workout plan that incorporated moderately-intense physical activity reduced major mobility disability among seniors who were at risk.

Besides its ability to help seniors remain active and independent for a longer period of time, regular physical activity also leads to many other health benefits for older adults. Here are a just a few ways exercise can help enhance both the body and mind of seniors.

Going for a simple walk or jog outside counts as exercise with a great view.
Going for a simple walk or jog outside counts as exercise with a great view.

1. Exercise helps regulate weight
Helpguide reported that exercise can lead to an improved metabolism and a healthy muscle mass for seniors. With age, our metabolisms slow down, making it more difficult to keep unnecessary weight off. By staying active, seniors can revamp their metabolism and maintain a healthy weight they are satisfied with.

2. Exercise can help to prevent illnesses and diseases
The Public Health Agency of Canada explained that staying active can help to prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis. By exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet, seniors can help to boost their immune system to fight disease and illness.

3. Exercise enhances flexibility and mobility
Exercise can help improve flexibility and balance for seniors. Helpguide said that these restored abilities can help seniors maintain their balance and coordination and help to prevent falls from happening. By remaining physically active, seniors can remain mobile and independent for a longer period of time.  

"Exercise can help enhance your mood."

4. Exercise helps improve mood and cognitive function
According to the National Institute of Aging, physical activity can help enhance mood and reduce depression. The source also said exercise can support cognitive function, including the ability to multitask and plan activities. As a result, physical activity doesn't only do an aging body good, it also helps improve brain function for older adults.

Chartwell Retirement Residences considers the health and wellness of their residents to be a top-priority, and offers not only a delicious food program that meets seniors' nutritional needs, but an activity calendar chock-full of active living programs and recreational activities, including their Rhythm 'n' Moves exercise class. At Chartwell, there are plenty of ways to get up and moving at one their retirement or long term care communities. To learn more about their programs and activities, or to download a sample activity calendar, click here.