Invest in Your Health: Exercising as You Age
You might ask yourself if exercise is safe once you hit 65. The answer is that almost everyone who is older can benefit in some way from regular exercise. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to hit the gym like you are Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Establishing a routine and incorporating moderate physical activity into your everyday schedule can help to significantly improve your current health as well as minimize any risk of future injury.
Benefits of Exercise
Bone density in your body is the quantity of bone mineral in your bone’s tissue. The measurement of density is used as an indicator of fracture risk and osteoporosis in clinical medicine. Osteoporosis can occur when your body produces too little bone, loses too much of it, or both. Exercise can help protect your body against losing bone mass. In turn, this should lower your chance of developing osteoporosis, as well as safeguard you against breaks and fractures. Another benefit of healthy, strong bone is that it can help you with stability. This should lower your chance of slips, trips, or falls due to an imbalance resulting from weakening in the skeletal structure.
Your immune system is your body’s first line of defense against disease. When your body has a compromised immune system it can take a lot more energy to fight off and recover from illness. Exercising can significantly improve the function of your immune system. When your immune system is strengthened it should have an easier time recognizing pathogens such as parasitic worms and viruses and distinguishing them from the healthy tissue of your organs. Speeding up this response time allows your body to combat these risks before they have already taken hold.
Your cardiovascular system is responsible for circulating blood which transports nutrients, hormones, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and blood cells throughout your body. These are responsible for providing proper nourishment which helps maintain your body’s homeostasis as well as fighting disease. Regular physical activity can have a direct impact on your cardiovascular system helping reduce the risk of high blood pressure as well as heart disease. If you already have hypertension then it may even help bring your blood pressure back into a more normal range.
Your gastrointestinal system processes foods, extracting and absorbing nutrients and energy, and expels the waste. The health of this system is vital to the body and mind. The nutrients and energy which are extracted are used to fuel the functions of your entire body. Frequent exercise can boost your metabolism, encourage efficient expulsion of waste, and promote the health of your digestive system.One of the biggest benefits of improving these systems alongside your overall health is that your body can become more capable of defending itself against serious medical conditions. These illnesses include dementia, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and colon cancer. It can also assist with managing arthritis pain and high cholesterol.
Types of Exercise
When choosing the right exercise routines, you may find it helpful to consult your physician, especially if you are already limited by a medical condition.
You may find that aerobic and endurance based exercises a simple place to start. This type of physical activity can be low to high intensity depending on your capabilities. It relies on getting increasing your breathing and heartbeat. This will improve your body’s potential to deliver nutrients and oxygen to tissues as well as remove waste during prolonged periods of time. You can achieve this type of exercise by walking, swimming, or use of an exercise pedals. Benefits of using an exercise pedal machine are that they allow you to feel good about getting physical activity without the concern over joint pain or possibly falling, especially away from home.
You can also implement resistance and strength training. These exercises utilize repetitive motion to assist with muscle growth. Muscle growth helps your body meet the demands of forces such as gravity much more easily. Muscles also play an important role in your body’s process of dealing with blood sugar. You can utilize equipment such as resistance bands and free weights during these exercises. You can also use your bodyweight to perform calisthenics which includes exercises such as sit-ups, lunges, and leg raises.
You can use flexibility and stretching exercises to warm up and/or cool down. These should help improve flexibility as well as maintain it over time, reduce the risk of injury, and decrease muscle stiffness and soreness. These can also provide you with some time to meditate and appreciate how you and your body feel. Yoga and pilates are both good examples of stretching and flexibility exercises. These exercises can also help you improve your core-strength which is an important part of balance, as well as proper support for the rest of your body.