Benefits of Staying Active
Research has shown the endless benefits of exercise. As we age, the benefits of exercise become even more important. As we age, the risk of osteoporosis, osteopenia, and fractures increase. Below are just few of the benefits of staying active.
According to the World Health Organization, leading a sedentary lifestyle is one of 10 leading causes of death and disability. Even gentle, regular exercise such as walking or swimming can increase lifespan by around three to five years.
Improving muscle strength and bone density can be helpful in reducing the risk of falls as it can also improve balance. The WHO say regular exercise can reduce the risk of having a hip fracture by 40%.
Reduced risk of stroke or heart attack
Regular cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking, cycling or light housework – anything that raises the heart rate – will increase blood flow to the heart and boost your overall health.
Better bone density
Weight-bearing exercise such as walking or jogging can help increase the strength of bones and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures. According to The National Osteoporosis Society, one in two women and one in five men will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
Reduced risk of developing dementia
Being sedentary in later years can increase the risk of developing dementia, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The study, which analysed more than 1,600 older adults over five years, found that those who did not exercise were more likely to develop dementia than those who did.
Prevent or delay disease
Exercise is an effective remedy for many chronic conditions. Studies show that people with arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes benefit from regular activity. It can also help in management of high cholesterol; keeping cholesterol levels within a healthy range can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
More confidence and independence
A study by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society examined exercise in the elderly and found that training led to improvements in functional reach and balance and reduced participants’ fear of falling.