If you think exercising is only for the young, you might want to think again. There are lots of reasons why you should continue (or begin) exercising, no matter what your age.
For starters, regular exercise can reduce your risk for (or help you manage) chronic health problems like heart disease, diabetes, or osteoporosis. It can also improve your overall outlook. And according to the Mayo Clinic, there’s even some evidence that exercise can lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia.
Some other benefits you can get from exercise include:
- Better balance. Regular exercise can help you improve your balance, which will decrease your risk for falls.
- More stamina. Aerobic exercise, like brisk walking, swimming, or dancing can give you more energy, which will help you with day-to-day activities. It can also help with weight control, which will help with balance and flexibility.
- Improved flexibility. Stretching and other exercises that improve flexibility can help you twist and bend more freely. This can be really helpful when you go to tie your shoes or look over your shoulder.
- Increased strength. Weight lifting can give you more muscle strength, which will enable you to better lift and carry things.
You may be wondering if it’s safe for you to exercise, especially if you’ve already started to lose some of your strength or mobility. But according to the National Institute of Health, it’s safe to exercise at any age, even if you’re somewhat limited in your ability to move freely.
And if joint pain is keeping you from working out, relax. Regular exercise has been shown to actually reduce joint pain.
Still hesitant to exercise? Maybe you need some company. Enlist a friend to work out with you or see if you can find an exercise class at a Topeka senior center.