Older adults who have lived mostly sedentary lives without too many health issues can still benefit from regular exercise. In fact, extensive research involving aging adults proves the number of benefits provided to seniors through exercise is virtually limitless. Even less invigorating activities like an afternoon of gardening or a brisk walk around the block can have noticeable health benefits, so there are plenty of reasons for older adults to consider getting a little more active.
Increased Cognitive Functioning
While it makes sense that exercise is beneficial for just about anyone of any age, older adults may also benefit from increased cognitive functioning. A Harvard study of people 55 and older suggests moderate to high levels of exercise reduced the participants’ odds of developing dementia symptoms and related conditions by half compared to those in the study who didn’t exercise on a regular basis. This fact alone should be enough to encourage seniors to exercise on a daily basis.
Hiring a professional in-home caregiver is one of the best ways to ensure your loved one receives assistance with exercise. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare services. Opelika families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Natural Immune System Booster
A study published in Integrative Medicine suggests increased physical activity can flush “bad bacteria” out of the body, which could reduce the odds of developing colds and other virus-based illnesses. Exercise also produces more antibodies and white blood cells, essentially acting as a natural immune system booster. A comprehensive University of Missouri study confirmed the following benefits of exercise for older adults:
- Increased bone density
- Better oxygenation of the blood (helps with heart and brain health)
- Reduced odds of developing osteoporosis
Seniors who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Elderly home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
Better Outlook & Mood
Physical activity is also known to release endorphins, feel-good neurotransmitters that are natural pain and stress relievers. Seniors who are able to participate in regular exercise routines are able to reap the benefits of these endorphins, which can boost outlook, mood, and overall emotional quality of life.
Sticking with an Exercise Regimen
Studies suggest group support and encouragement from friends and family members can provide added incentives for older adults to stick to regular exercise routines. Many community centers have exercise programs specifically for older participants. Similar support can be found from doing some mall walking with a fitness buddy or taking a stroll with friends on a beautiful day.
Assisting a loved one with exercise can be difficult for family members who have other important tasks to tend to. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Opelika, Alabama, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. If you need professional at-home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (334) 744-7100.