This article is contributed by Vee Cecil.
Of course, with each day, hour, and minute that passes us by, we’re all getting older. But what many may not know or consider is that we’re actually getting older as a nation, too. The U.S. Census Bureau notes that in 2012 there were 43.1 million people in the country who were 65 or older. By 2050, that number is expected to almost double to 83.7 million.
As the number of people over the age of 65 increases, it’s important that we all have a better understanding of what steps can be taken to ensure their advanced years are as fulfilling as possible. Fortunately, there is one action that seniors can take that always yields extremely positive results—exercise. Read on to find out how physical activity can put more “life in the years” of our aging population:
The CDC notes that for seniors falls are the “leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries.” The good news is that falls are highly preventable. As this guide on healthy aging and swimming points out, exercise of any kind, but especially those that focus on developing leg strength and improving balance, can help older adults avoid falling. It also notes that swimming is a great form of exercise for achieving these positive results. Because in addition to being a great cardiovascular workout with a focus on leg movement, it’s easy on bones and joints.
Strong muscles are an essential part of being able to live an active, healthy lifestyle. But as we age, we lose muscle mass. However, MedicineNet.com explains that we never lose the ability to build muscle. It notes that through exercise older adults can strengthen their muscles and in turn see many benefits—e.g. improvements in calorie burning, weight maintenance, and balance and bone strength.
Improved overall wellness
Naturally, we may not feel as vibrant and energetic at 65 as we felt at 25. But through exercise you can improve your chances of being able to continue doing the activities you love long into your golden years. As this article on staying fit over 40 notes, one reason that’s the case is that exercise increases quality of life and independence, and it makes you feel good physically and mentally.
If making one change could help prevent certain cancers while also reducing the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases, why wouldn’t we do it? Well, this article from the University of New Mexico shows those are exactly the results that exercising seniors can expect to see. It also points out that staying fit helps aging adults avoid the need for long-term care.
We’re all getting older, but aging doesn’t have to mean losing the ability to do the things in our lives that we enjoy. Through exercise, seniors can help ensure that they feel happy, healthy, and fulfilled at 60, 80, and beyond.
Author Bio: Vee Cecil loves studying and learning more about wellness. She shares her finding on her recently-launched blog. She is also is a wellness coach, personal trainer, and bootcamp instructor and lives in Kentucky with her family.