Aging well has a lot to do with how well we take care of our bodies throughout our lifespan. People who stay even moderately fit as they age may live longer, but more importantly, live better.
Much of the deterioration that we associate with age is actually a result of inactivity. Maintaining an active lifestyle has multiple benefits in later years including more energy and body strength; greater resilience from degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis and memory loss, and chronic disease such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Here are just some of the reasons why:
- Exercise helps strengthens muscle and builds bone.
- Exercise helps maintain flexibility and balance reducing your risk of injury and falls.
- Exercise increases your blood flow to the brain delivering oxygen and nutrients more effectively.
- Exercise lowers blood pressure.
- Exercise increases your ‘good cholesterol’ (HDL).
- Exercise helps control blood sugars.
- Exercise helps shed extra pounds and abdominal fat.
- Exercise helps maintain a healthy body weight which significantly reduces incidence of chronic disease.
It’s safe for most adults 65 and older to exercise, but always consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise plan. High intensity exercise is not necessary to get health benefits. For example, daily walking is an excellent way to promote health.
Exercise can be fun! Dancing, walking your dog, bicycling, and gardening all strengthen your heart and lungs. So, get active!