Many Americans lead a sedentary lifestyle, and seniors are no exception. A recent study of older adults ages 65+ showed approximately 67% are inactive for over eight hours each day. With the risks surrounding a sedentary lifestyle so well publicized, why do so many find it hard to reap the benefits of exercise by adding physical activity into their weekly routine?
For some seniors, the answer is: It hurts. Aging often leads to loss of bone density, muscle mass and flexibility, and conditions like arthritis or other joint problems can make it painful to get out of a chair or walk, let alone lift weights or participate in aerobic exercise. However, inactivity will only further weaken muscles and bones and exacerbate pain. A senior fitness program is one way to incorporate the right type of activity for a better quality of life.
Fitness for Seniors Equals Healthier Aging
There are compelling reasons to consider exercise programs designed specifically for seniors. These programs are not “one-size-fits-all” as you might find at a traditional gym. Instead, they’re customized to an individual’s age and abilities.
An instructor trained in senior fitness can help address age-related conditions such as arthritis and find ways to work around limitations. A senior fitness program can also offer a more holistic approach, helping you achieve a better overall balance between the different dimensions of health, including physical, emotional, mental, social, etc.
Here are the top five reasons to switch to a senior fitness program:
- Manage chronic conditions. Exercise is crucial for managing and reducing pain from conditions like arthritis, as regular movement helps lubricate the joints and decrease stiffness. The right kind of exercise for seniors reduces the risks of heart disease, cognitive impairment, diabetes and stroke.
- Prevent falls. Falls are a leading cause of injuries for older adults ages 65+. In fact, 1 out of 3 American seniors suffer a debilitating fall each year. Senior-focused programs that improve balance can help older adults remain steady on their feet and maintain a higher level of independence.
- Decrease medications. It’s common for seniors to take a variety of medications when managing different health conditions as well as issues like depression and anxiety. Senior fitness programs combine aerobic activity, strength training and flexibility exercises to relieve the need for some medications. Physical activity causes the body to release endorphins, which boost mood and reduce the need for certain medications that manage depression. Exercise can help reduce systolic blood pressure and decrease the need for blood pressure medication.
- Sleep better. More activity throughout the day helps make it easier to fall asleep and promotes a deeper, more restful sleep. Seniors with insomnia may benefit from exercises that help them feel more tired and relaxed in the evenings, so they can fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
- Adaptability. No matter your current fitness level, there’s a senior fitness program that’s right for you. For instance, aqua fitness is a great low-impact exercise that works every muscle group in the body but is easy on the joints. Chair yoga is ideal for seniors with mobility issues and can build muscle tone and increase blood circulation. The key is to find something you enjoy so you can start experiencing the benefits right away.
Exercise for seniors doesn’t have to feel like a chore.
You’ll find it easier to be proactive about your health at Heritage Senior Living. On-site amenities such as a fitness center and heated indoor pool are only steps from your door, so you never have to miss a workout due to inclement weather. You can also be confident that group classes and one-on-one training are taught by fitness instructors certified in senior health. Our communities also offer a variety of educational programs and classes for seniors, designed to keep you well informed and feeling good from top to toe as you age. Find out how easy it is to improve your fitness and quality of life today — call 844-658-4475 to discover the Heritage Senior Living community near you.