It’s easy for seniors to live sedentary lifestyles. Bones and muscles tend to atrophy with age, which can make activities like exercise less appealing. However, when seniors become too sedentary, it can have a tangible impact on their health. Here are five reasons seniors should stay active.
1. Prevent Bone Loss
Seniors are already at risk for bone loss, which is especially true for women, who experience a decrease in bone density after menopause. Leading a sedentary lifestyle increases a senior’s risk for osteoporosis. To promote bone health, seniors should try to do weight-bearing exercises on a weekly basis. Weight-bearing activities force the body to work against gravity and grow harder, denser bones. These activities range from relatively simple exercises like hiking to more strenuous activities like tennis and weight training.
Seniors who need assistance with exercise can benefit from professional in-home care. Nashville elderly care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
2. Stop Muscular Atrophy
When seniors lead sedentary lifestyles, their lean muscle tissue starts to atrophy. Without strong muscle tissue, seniors may notice daily activities become more difficult to perform, from taking a shower to walking from room to room. This becomes a self-fulfilling cycle and promotes more inactivity. To break out of this cycle, seniors need to build up healthy muscle mass by following a healthy diet filled with lean proteins to promote muscle growth. Seniors should also do activities that build muscles, like simple strength training exercises, including abdominal exercises like crunches and twists and full-body exercises like bridges.
Some seniors have medical conditions that make exercising and managing daily activities difficult. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Nashville live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place.
3. Stave Off Depression and Anxiety
Leading a sedentary lifestyle affects the mind. Studies show seniors who spend too much time on the sofa are more likely to experience feelings of depression and anxiety. Exercise promotes healthy neurotransmitter production, which can stabilize mood. Even simple activities like taking a walk around the park can boost a senior’s emotional wellbeing.
4. Minimize Pain
As seniors age, they often experience aches and pains related to arthritis, osteoporosis, and other common conditions. While chronic soreness can make a sedentary lifestyle seem appealing, inactivity only increases pain. To minimize joint pain, seniors should try exercises that increase range of motion, like yoga and Pilates.
5. Prevent Heart Damage
Some researchers believe a sedentary lifestyle is just as damaging to the heart as smoking. To keep the heart healthy, seniors should do cardiovascular exercise such as water aerobics, stationary cycling, and walking. Seniors who haven’t exercised in awhile may want to try an at-home exercise DVD, which can teach them the basics of cardiovascular fitness. There are many exercise videos made specifically for seniors, offering them low-impact, low-intensity workouts to boost their cardiovascular health.
If your loved one needs help maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle, a professional caregiver can help. In Nashville, Tennessee, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. If your aging loved one wants to enjoy a high quality of life in the comfort of home, call us at (615) 326-9849.