As we age, we can face a variety of health concerns. This, you already know. But did you know there is one thing you can do, that improves your health and functioning in a variety of ways?
For many retirees, exercise is the key to improving health and happiness over the long term.
Build muscle mass. We all begin aging in our thirties, even if we don’t feel it for a while longer. Between your thirties and eighties, you lose about 15 percent of your muscle mass. Not only can this lead to general weakness; it also lowers your base metabolism.
Restore balance. You know that slips and falls are more common as you grow older. Exercising regularly improves balance and coordination, lowering your risk of falls and serious injuries.
Improve bone density. If you do fall, you’re more likely to fracture or break a bone, because bones lose density over time. Weight-bearing exercises improve your bone density, and help to ward off osteoporosis.
Manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Time can take a toll on your joints, too. The cartilage between your joints can begin to break down, leading to pain and stiffness. Exercises that focus on flexibility, endurance, and strength can help lessen your symptoms.
Protect your brain. Regular exercise can even improve your memory, and lessen your odds of developing dementia.
Boost your mood. Depression is common in older adults for a variety of reasons. Since exercise can prompt your brain to release serotonin, it’s one of the best anti-depressants out there!
Protect your heart. Your heart is a muscle, and it needs regular workouts to stay healthy. Exercise keeps your heart strong, and can ward off cardiovascular disease.
Maintain your weight. Many chronic health conditions are linked to excess weight, and as we all know, regular exercise can help prevent weight gain over time.
Now that you’ve learned at least eight good reasons to exercise, it’s time to get started on a regular routine. But first, consult your doctor, so he or she can screen you for any underlying health conditions that could make exercise dangerous for you. If you get the green light to exercise, ask which types of activities are most safe for you. But remember, the ones you truly enjoy are best of all. Enjoy!