Healthy Active Living for Your Aging Loved One

Being a healthy and active individual is a goal for many people. Happiness and wellness are often linked to exercise as it has both physical and mood boosting powers.

As we celebrated National Senior Health and Fitness Day last week, we are reminding readers to think about healthy active living for the aging loved ones in your life. Healthy active living based on small changes that can make a huge difference in quality of life.

Physical activity is essential to encourage healthy aging, and simple activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, bike riding, or even dancing can improve your cardiovascular fitness. 

Improvements in fitness will increase your body’s ability to handle aerobic activity, which in-turn reduces the shortness of breath you may feel when your heart rate starts to rise. 

Here are five reasons for aging adults to start exercising today:

Prevent Heart Disease and Diabetes

Regular exercise, (a suggested 30 minutes a day) will start to show positive improvements in your physical health. Exercise helps to improve your immune system which is great for older adults as our immune systems can become compromised as we age. 

With heart disease being the number 1 killer, keeping your heart healthy through regular exercise and diet is key.

Lower Risk of Falling

Falling is a scary thing for older adults and their families. Risk of falling can lead to less independence for aging adults, and after one fall, the recovery becomes more and more difficult.

By improving strength, you lower the risk of a fall by becoming more flexible, coordinated, and balanced.

Social Interaction

Exercise is a great way to form friendships and have a sense of community for older adults. Joining a fitness club, yoga class, or having friends in your neighbourhood who you walk with daily is a great way to get out of the house and interact with like minded individuals. 

Strong social ties are great way to combat feelings of loneliness or isolation for aging adults who may live alone.

Mental Health

The “feel good” hormones known as endorphins are released into your brain every time you exercise. Although it is sometimes difficult to go out and find time to exercise, the benefits to your mental health are immense. 

Exercise is also linked to improved sleep patterns for aging adults who may experience insomnia or troubles sleeping at night. Through exercise, you will see instant changes to your mood, happiness, and overall outlook on life.

Balanced Diet

The common phrase “you are what you eat” is true in many ways. Although fruits and vegetables are not always as tasty, they go a long way in keeping your body functioning at top form.

A balanced diet helps to keep your cholesterol in check, while also keeping your dental health strong which is another area to consider as we age.

Conclusion

Adults of all ages can exercise well to suit their needs, and you can easily make adjustments to any particular exercise or exercise plan to best suit your body’s needs and capability. 

It is important to modify an exercise if it is causing discomfort or pain. The point is to keep your body mobile and active, and not to increase the pains we all start to feel as we age.

At the moment, heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. According to the Mayo Clinic, atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of fatty plaques in your arteries, is the most common heart disease. 

Poor diet, smoking, lack of exercise, and being overweight all contribute to developing atherosclerosis, meaning that unhealthy lifestyle habits are the number one killer.

Many people feel overwhelmed by the number of changes they have to make to reverse old habits. Instead try to think of it as small changes you can make each day, to help improve your situation over time. 

Having a healthy lifestyle does not often happen overnight – take the time, and exercise, to reduce a life of inactivity or less than wise choices in order to get your life back!

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