Health Benefits of Fitness and Exercise For Older People
Article by Jason Wellbourne
There has been a misconception that fitness and exercise was reserved for young people and that elderly people could not benefit from building muscle mass and strength. This belief is a misnomer because studies have shown that people over 50 can greatly benefit from strength training and exercise.
As we get older our body goes through various changes. Our metabolism can slow, we can accumulate extra body fat, arteries can be blocked are narrow, we could get high blood pressure, our bones can become thinner and more porous leading to osteoporosis, and our muscles and skin lose their vitality and tone.
It has been proven through various studies that proper exercise and staying fit can decrease the effects aging has on our body, and can reduce the risk of disease. The American College of Sports Medicine is major contributor in the areas of sports medicine, exercise, health, and fitness information. They recommend a minimum of 15-60 minutes of aerobic exercise several days a week to help reduce the aging effects. Fitness and exercise is vitally important for elderly people to maintain their health.
Exercising just 30 minutes each day can elevate the heart rate of elderly people to keep their hearts and blood vessels healthy. A fitness and exercise goal for elderly people should promote swimming, dancing, brisk walking, slow jogging and other cardiovascular exercise that will bring their heart rates to a safe healthy level.
People over 40 should add strength and muscle building exercises to their daily routines. This can aid in developing muscle tone and mass, maintaining their ideal weight, and keeping their blood sugar levels properly adjusted. Building strong healthy leg muscles can help support joints, prevent falls and reduce accidents at home. The National Institutes of Health report elderly people account for 300,000 hospital admissions per year from accidents relating to falls within their home.
To keep joints lubricated and muscle flexible there are all types of stretching exercised that can be done daily, including yoga. Stretching improves your balance and coordination, gives you a wider range of motion, restores energy and promotes healthy blood flow. This type of daily exercise can also help reduce muscle and joint pain.
Exercise and staying physically fit promotes healthy mental health, reduces stress and depression and provides an overall sense of well being. This is especially important for elderly people to not only stay physically fit but emotionally and mentally healthy to reduce or eliminate lonely or isolated feelings.
No matter what your age you should consult your physician before starting an exercise program. This is especially true for elderly people who may have health issues to take into consideration. The secret to any successful exercise program is to start slow and gradually build up your endurance, flexibility and strength. Monitor your progress and do not over work your body.
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