Aging Adult. What does that even mean? We often hear “I just turned 40 and now I’m falling apart” or “I just turned 50 and…” or “I just turned 60 and….” What age did you start having those thoughts?
Many adults don’t understand the control they have over how they age. We think aches, pains, and loss of independence as a normal part of aging, right? NO!
Although it is normal to expect physical changes with aging, there is so much you can do to take control of your life. Regular physical activity and exercise helps everyone (even over 50!) improve mental and physical health, both of which will help you maintain your independence as you age.
Here are 5 reasons for staying active as aging adults…
· Weight Control:
We all know that exercise helps people of all ages maintain or lose body weight. But did you know, our metabolism naturally slows with age, especially after menopause, making exercise doubly important to maintain weight. Exercise should be a combination of cardio and strength training workouts to develop muscle mass, and in turn, increase metabolism and burn more calories to promote weight control.
· Cardiovascular Circulation
Frequent physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease and enhances your cardiovascular health. Adding a mix of cardio and strength training will give you an added boost of energy that will improve your heart health overall. Of course, underlying heart conditions and hereditary diseases will not go away as a result of exercising, but appropriately dosed exercise will help you keep those heart conditions from affecting your daily life.
· Balance and Stability/Fall Prevention
Older adults are at a higher risk of falls, but they are preventable! Exercise improves strength and flexibility, which in turn, improves balance and coordination. Falls can be costly in both medical bills and in changes of lifestyle, so anything that helps avoid them in the first place is critical.
· Emotional Well Being:
The mental health benefits of exercise are nearly endless. Exercise produces endorphins (the “feel good” hormone), which act as a stress reliever and leaves you feeling happy and satisfied. In addition, exercise has been linked to improving sleep, which is especially important for older adults who often suffer from insomnia and disrupted sleep patterns. Exercise is shown to help fight depression and reduce stress when those muscle generated mood boosters become active.
· Bone and Joint Health
Regular activity builds healthy bones and helps maintain bone strength, especially after menopause. Exercise works on bones much like it works on muscles — by making them stronger through the forces placed upon it. When you exercise regularly, your bone adapts by building more cells and becomes denser.
Getting older doesn’t have to mean abandoning the activities or workouts you have enjoyed over the years, but it does mean adjusting your workout routine to your body. If injuries or joint pains cause fear about exercise, we recommend talking with a physical therapist to help you find a fitness plan that suits your body to prevent injuries or make them worse.
Does all of this sound overwhelming? Don’t know where to start? Do you want to learn more about staying Fit after 50?
Join us for a Lunch & Learn to hear all about staying Fit after 50!
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29th
Copeland Tower Living
****Must reserve a spot! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to do so!
We help busy professionals whose activities are limited by pain, get back to enjoying the things they love, even if other treatments have let them down.
Catherine Courtney, PT
Specialist Physical Therapist