Benefits of Exercise
It’s simply a fact of life that as you grow older it gets harder to maintain muscle mass, posture and balance. Seniors who exercise at least twice a week have a much better chance of preventing serious injuries due to falls and brittle bones and developing heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Getting involved in a moderate exercise program also prevents bouts of depression and helps you to lose weight.
Your children are all grown up and now live on their own. Unfortunately, for many aging adults, once they have the empty nest their activity levels drop significantly. There are no more urgent runs to school functions, practices or big messes to tend to. At this point in your life, things are quiet. And, while at first, it is refreshing; over time the inactivity can add pounds and begin to cause medical problems due to your inactivity. It’s important to stay active and take on some form of exercise a few times a week to maintain and build muscle mass and keep a healthy weight.
Joining a Gym
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Now that you have plenty of time for you, why not sign up for a few classes at the gym. Fitness centers like Fitness 19 have a variety of classes and equipment beneficial to seniors. They offer programs like the Silver Sneaker that combines strength training and aerobics to encourage seniors to get up and move their bodies. If a fitness center does not interest you, then take a brisk walk, bike ride or join the YMCA and take up water aerobics. The point is to commit to at least 3 to 4 hours a week of physical activity.
Benefits of Exercise Go Beyond Weight Loss
Getting your body in shape has many benefits in addition to weight loss. It helps raise your metabolism, improves your digestive health, and reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis, types of cancer and Alzheimer’s and dementia. When you exercise your body it releases endorphins that interact with receptors in your brain. Along with reducing your perception of pain, they also trigger a happy feeling that lasts for hours after your workout. This helps to instantly cheer you up and restore energy levels. Exercise also gives your mind a relaxed feeling making it easier to sleep longer.
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Staying Committed to C
There are no more excuses. You have time on your side. Plan to work out at least 2 to 3 times per week doing something you enjoy. If you don’t want to go to the gym alone, bring a friend along and create the buddy system. This way you’ll stay committed to going. In your downtime, stay active. There are many things in your community that you can partake in to get you out of the house and keep you busy. Join a seniors group and help your local church with fundraisers for the homeless or work on a food line. These things will not only keep you moving, but they will also give you a sense of pride. Walk a neighbor’s dog or volunteer to plant flowers. Just get out there and enjoy life and keep your body moving.
Eliminating or Reducing the Limitations of Chronic Medical Problems
As you get older it takes longer to recover from a strain placed on the body. If you get into a regular exercise routine, you’ll find that in just a short period of time the aches and pains you were once getting from doing small chores don’t seem to be there. If you have arthritis, movement is actually the best thing for your body. When you become sedentary your joints get stiff. By staying active you’ll help increase your mobility and start to regain your independence. Often you develop high blood pressure and diabetes due to a poor diet, inactivity and weight gain. By getting physically active and improving your diet you can actually reverse them.
If you start now and increase your level of physical activity, maintain a healthy weight, and stay busy, you’ll find that in just a few short months you’ll look and feel better and enjoy a better quality of life in your retirement.