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You probably know that you should exercise, and that fitness for seniors is important but you may not know exactly why. Many people exercise because it helps them lose weight or maintain their weight. And fighting obesity is definitely a good reason to get active. However, there are a number of other benefits of senior fitness that can have a powerful impact on your life at any age. These benefits can help you live longer and live better.
Studies have shown that exercise improves the quality and found that people sleep better if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. That’s an average of 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Improved Sex Life
Sex stops after 50, right? Heck no! And exercise has been shown to help improve your sex life. At a fundamental level, when you sleep better, you’re going to have more energy for your love life. Exercise also boosts a general sense of well-being and energy. Senior fitness and exercise have been shown to be effective for fighting depression – it really does make you feel happy and alive.
Better Social Connections
There is an abundance of opportunities to socialize when you exercise. You can join or create a senior fitness or exercise club. For example, you might organize a group of friends to walk or take Curtis’ senior fitness classes together. People who exercise together bond over the activity, and it’s not uncommon to forge great friendships with the people you meet in senior fitness classes.
Many older people have mobility issues. It happens for a variety of reasons. Sedentary lifestyles reduce blood flow to joints, ligaments, and muscles. Bone density decreases and bones become fragile. Vision decreases, which impacts balance and confidence. Try taking a senior fitness test to see your fitness level.
Exercise combats many of these challenges in a number of ways and can make you more mobile, increases bone density as well as muscle strength. It also increases blood flow to your tissues which improves mobility.
Reduced Risk of Disease/Stronger Immune System
The importance of fitness for seniors, exercise helps strengthen your immune system in four key ways.
- Exercise helps reduce bacteria in your lungs and airways, which can lower your risk of getting an airborne illness like a cold or the flu.
- Exercise can help boost your immune system and white blood cells to circulate more quickly through your body. This puts them in contact with more viruses and invaders and may help prevent infections and illness.
- The increase in your body temperature when you exercise can prevent bacteria from multiplying.
- Finally, exercise combats stress by reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which can damage your immune system.
Additionally, exercise reduces your risk of many major diseases, including:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Studies on exercise and longevity have found that 150 minutes of weekly exercise can add more than three years to your lifespan. In one study, people who went for a brisk walk each day were more likely to be alive 15 years after beginning their walking program than those who were sedentary. Another study said that people who lived sedentary lives were six times as likely to die from heart disease (the number one killer in America) than those who exercised. Try taking a senior fitness test to see your current fitness level.
Improved Mental Performance
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about the increasing number of people being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. While doctors don’t know the cause of many different types of Dementia (including Alzheimer’s), they do know that people who exercise have a reduced risk of the disease. Additionally, people who exercise have a stronger memory, response time, and improved cognition.
Exercise and better fitness for seniors are so importantand can mean staying on top of your game and staying sharp and physically fit well into your golden years.