Importance of Exercise for the Elderly

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The benefits of exercise throughout life are often touted, but is it safe for seniors older than 65 years to exercise? Absolutely. Almost all older people can benefit from additional physical activity. Regular exercise protects from chronic disease, improves mood and lowers chances of injury.

With age, the body does take a little longer to repair itself, but moderate physical activity is good for people of all ages and of all ability levels. In fact, the benefits of your elderly parents exercising regularly far outweigh the risks. Even elderly people with chronic illnesses can exercise safely. Many medical conditions are improved with exercise, including alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure and obesity.

Regular exercise provides a myriad of health benefits for your mum and dad, including improvements in blood pressure, diabetes, lipid profile, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and neuro-cognitive function. Regular exercise improves:

Immune Function
Cardio-Respiratory and Cardiovascular Function
Bone Density/Osteoporosis
Gastrointestinal Function
Chronic Conditions and Cancer

Often, frail elderly people are unable to tolerate aerobic exercise routines on a regular basis due to lack of endurance. But while age-related changes in the cardiovascular system have significant effects on cardiac performance, it has been estimated that 50% of endurance loss can be related to decreased muscle mass.

The message is clear. Exercise is a life-long relationship, not a one-night stand.

– Simon Jeremy