Benefits of Senior Exercise

Physical health benefits …

Exercise helps maintain or lose weight. As metabolism slows with age, maintaining a healthy weight is a challenge. Preventing a sedentary lifestyle with exercise helps increase metabolism and builds muscle, burning more calories. With a healthy body weight, overall wellness improves.

Exercise reduces illness and chronic disease. Seniors who exercise  have a lowered risk of chronic diseases including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and colon cancer. Benefits of exercise for seniors also include improved immune function, better heart health, blood pressure, bone density, and digestive functioning.

Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance in seniors. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility and posture, which help with balance, coordination, and reduce the risk of falling. Strength training also helps alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.

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Mental health benefits of senior exercise …

Exercise improves your sleep.  Exercise improves sleep, and helps you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply.

Exercise boosts mood and self-confidence. Endorphins produced by exercise can help you feel better and reduce feelings of sadness or depression. Being active and feeling strong help you feel more self-confident.

Exercise is good for the brain. Exercise benefits regular brain function and can help keep the brain active, which prevents memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia.

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Getting started safely…

Start slow. If you haven’t been active in a while, it can be harmful to do “too much, too fast”, build up your exercise program slowly. Try spacing strength workouts twice a week, and one senior cardio fitness class each week.

Exercise should never hurt. Stop exercising immediately and call your doctor if you feel dizzy or short of breath, develop chest pain or pressure, break out in a cold sweat, or experience pain. Stop if a joint is red, swollen, or tender to touch. Consult an expert senior fitness trainer for advice on how to exercise properly.

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About Christine, Chicago's Fitness and Nutrition Consultant

I am a fitness and nutrition consultant who loves taking snapshots.
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