What You Don’t Know About Senior Fitness
Are you one of the 75% of American seniors who do not exercise regularly? For many seniors, there are several perceived barriers preventing them from staying physically active. The most common reasons seniors may be sitting on the sidelines include:
- Lack of time.
- Physical conditions.
- Fear of becoming injured.
- Lack of confidence in their abilities.
- Suffering from depression or anxiety.
- Loss of momentum to continue exercising.
While these are certainly genuine concerns, for most seniors, exercising will provide more benefits than harm. Asking a physician about what exercises are both safe and effective can put seniors on a path of a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Exercising can produce positive results both physically and mentally. Physically, exercise for seniors can improve:
- Strength by increasing muscle mass and tone.
- Flexibility by relaxing muscles and connective tissues.
- Balance by building muscle and improving coordination.
- Endurance by improving lung, heart, and circulatory health.
Mental health for seniors is as important, and arguably more so, than physical health. Seniors who engage in a regular fitness program will also reap the mental benefits exercise offers including:
- Increased mood with participation in group settings.
- Greater self-esteem as confidence in ability increases.
- Improved self-worth as the body strengthens and heals.
- Reduced anxiety with more focus required for exercising.
- Increased appetite as more fuel is needed to fuel the body.
Physicians and therapists continually adapt exercises to meet the needs of all skill levels. This has opened up a world of physical fitness to more seniors than ever before. If you or a loved one is considering starting an exercise program, consult a physician and begin a journey of health and fitness!