Whether it’s going for a walk, playing lawn games, or doing yoga, staying active offers many health benefits for seniors. It’s important to make exercise a part of your routine, especially as you grow older because it becomes more important than ever for your health and can help you maintain your independence. Not only does healthy movement provide countless mental and physical health benefits, but exercise is the main contributor to longevity--it can help add years to your life and more life to your years! Luckily, it’s never too late to start incorporating enjoyable ways to become more active into your daily life and reap all the benefits. Here are 5 top reasons for you to stay active this summer from The Woods at Merrimack, one of the top retirement communities in Massachusetts:
Maintaining a healthy weight plays a key role in controlling the effects of aging--some studies suggest that being overweight can make you age quicker. As you age, your metabolism slows down, which can make it much more difficult to maintain your muscle mass and a healthy weight. Luckily, by exercising regularly, you can increase your metabolism and even build some muscle, which will both help your body burn more calories throughout the day so that you can maintain or lose weight. If you are just beginning to exercise, consider starting with lighter exercise, like simple mobility movement, and building your way up to more challenging exercises that are still appropriate for your capabilities (for example, using resistance bands). Finding exercise buddies or attending group fitness opportunities at your retirement community is a great way to get started--it’s fun to support each other on your fitness journeys!
Staying active offers endless mental health benefits. By engaging in exercise, your body produces endorphins--or “feel good” hormones--which reduce stress, feelings of sadness, depression, and anxiety. So basically, exercise can leave you feeling happy, satisfied, strong, self-confident, and accomplished! Setting exercise goals, then working toward and achieving these goals is a great way to boost your self-confidence and find a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Exercise is also proven to improve sleep, allowing you to recharge and have more energy and a better mindset for the next day!
Regular physical activity can benefit brain cognition in many ways, such as lowering stress hormones, improving blood flow to the brain, and reducing inflammation. From multitasking to creativity, staying active can help your brain function better. Additionally, it can help prevent memory loss, cognitive decline and dementia. Luckily, it can help slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, and studies have suggested a lower risk of dementia for those who engage in regular physical activity--regardless of when they begin their fitness journey. That means it’s never too late to get started on a new exercise routine to improve your brain cognition!
Another reason you should be staying active this summer, even if it’s as simple as going for a daily walk, is that it is a great way to reduce the impact of illness and risk of disease. Studies show that regular exercise can prevent heart disease and diabetes, while also improving overall immune and digestive function. Additionally, staying active can help improve blood pressure and bone density as well as reduce the risk for obesity, osteoporosis, and some cancers.
Not only can increase muscle mass and strength from regular exercise help you maintain or lose weight, but it can also help you improve your mobility, flexibility, posture, and balance. These in turn can help you enhance your coordination, which allows you to maintain stability. Older people are at a higher risk of falls, and often take longer to recover from them, so this increase instability and balance are extremely important to help avoid falls. This also goes hand-in-hand with maintaining your independence.
It’s never too late to get started on your fitness journey and reap the mental and physical benefits. If you want to stay at one of the best retirement communities in Massachusetts that will help you stay active, The Woods at Merrimack is the place for you!
To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of The Woods at Merrimack, contact our friendly team today.