The Importance of Staying Active as We Age

No matter your age or health, exercise is key to increasing longevity. Regardless of the shifting factors in our aging loved one’s life, maintaining a regular exercise schedule can improve every aspect of their lives, including cognitive function, physical strength, and social interactions. Here’s a more in-depth look at the importance of staying active in our senior years.

Exercise is a social activity. Walks, jogs, and group work outs give older folks a chance to interact with others and form friendships. It’s also an underlying method to providing accountability and support.

Exercise Improves Mood. For people in any stage of life, exercise can be the ultimate pick-me-up during a bad day. Studies show that an hour of daily exercise does wonders for a person’s emotional well-being, and it also decreases feelings of depression that are prevalent in seniors.

Senior couple doing light exercise outdoors

Exercise improves strength and mobility. For those struggling with daily physical tasks like preparing food or playing with grandchildren, regular exercise can strengthen muscles, improve mobility, increase balance, and prevent falls.

Exercise Increases Mental Capacity. Exercise supports the connections between neurons and increases the blood supply to various regions throughout the brain, and research from the Mayo Clinic shows that cognitive activity improves after six to 12 months of regular exercise. A dose of physical activity can increase cognitive abilities and slow the process of mental decline. It also increases oxygen to the brain, which helps us think clearer.

Exercise Improves Healing. Exercise boosts our immune system in ways that modern pharmaceuticals and organic supplements just don’t cut it. People who are regularly active heal 25 percent faster than those who don’t exercise.