6 Benefits of Exercise for Aging Adults

As we age, we are often advised by doctors to engage in regular exercises to maintain mobility and independence. This doesn’t mean we have to run out and join a gym or start pumping iron like Arnold.  It can be as simple as dancing to the radio or doing some calisthenics each morning. The important thing is to make exercise a regular part of your daily routine. 

Did you know that one of the best exercises is walking at least 30 minutes every day?


In addition to physical exercise, you should also understand that the brain needs to be exercised too.  The brain can be exercised by learning something new, reading, playing brain tasking video games or strategic board games like chess or checkers. Retirement is the perfect time to go back to college or take classes that interest you. Enjoy the love of learning and keep your mind young.



More independence

The biggest challenge many aging seniors face is being able to live independently. Don’t wait until it’s too late, start exercising today and retain your independence.  Look at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg she is going strong and even has her own workout video. 

As you can see from the video its not just mobility but stability and balance that exercise enhances; all things that help you remain independent


Healthy Bones

Muscle-strengthening and weight training exercises help reduce the risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises help to increase bone density and slow the natural loss of bones as we age. According to the World Health Organization, engaging in regular exercises reduces the risk of a hip fracture by about 40%. Hip fractures are often a death knell for older adults.


Prevention of Dementia

After a 5-year study involving over 1,600 aged adults, it was discovered that the ones living a sedentary lifestyle were much more likely to develop dementia. The project coordinator at FirstCare, Jane Byrne, points out that there are many causes of dementia. The Most common is Alzheimer’s, though the symptoms of dementia can also be caused by a series of strokes, known as vascular dementia.

It is safe to say exercise can help prevent or reduce the chances of developing dementia. Exercise of the mind and body do a great deal to keep you mentally sharp. 

Prevention of Stroke and Heart Diseases

Cardiovascular exercises like cycling and brisk walking increase the heart rate by increasing blood flow to the heart and as such, they also prevent stroke and improve overall health. This works for everyone, old and young. One of the best aerobic exercises that provide a great cardiovascular workout without being hard on the joints is water aerobics.  Many community centers and senior centers offer classes. It’s a great way to meet some new friends and keep healthy at the same time. 

The Benefits of Water Exercise Classes – Next Avenue

Longer Lifespan

A sedentary lifestyle will not prolong your life it will actually decrease your life expectancy and increase your risk of disease as you age.

Women who exercised for under 40 minutes and were sedentary for more than 10 hours per day had biologically “older” cells than women who were less sedentary and exercised more.

Specifically, low physical activity seemed to account for an 8-year biological age gap between those who exercised and those who did not.

“Our study found cells age faster with a sedentary lifestyle. Chronological age does not always match biological age,” says Shadyab.

Like I mentioned earlier, exercise does not have to mean running a 3-minute mile or doing 500 push up each day.  Just walking 30 minutes a day will help. Add in some dancing to increase your heart rate and you just prolonged your life while enjoying it more. 


Better Balance

As we age, we often find ourselves a little unbalanced.  Due to our shifting bodies, and our slower reflexes, we often find ourselves staggering a little when we walk or needing to reach out and grab someone to help us up on the curb.  By adding yoga and exercises for balance to your regular routines, you can better navigate the uneven pavement or the shift from hardwood floors to carpet without tripping or feeling off kilter. 



There are other benefits of exercises to seniors and aged adults, but these six are pretty important. 


Do you have a daily exercise routine?


2 thoughts on “6 Benefits of Exercise for Aging Adults”

  1. I know I should be getting more exercise. I’m so ashamed of being so out of shape. I do some walking and gardening.

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