Age 65 is a huge milestone in life. You’ve probably retired by this point and your body has been through a lot in 65+ years. That’s why it is so important to take care of your body after 65. Here are 7 reasons why exercise is such an important habit after age 65.
Exercising on a regular basis and in a variety of ways is key to maintaining a healthy weight throughout your life. Getting older lowers your metabolism, but daily exercise can help increase it again, so even though it’s harder to stay at your previous weight, you can stay fairly close.
As a senior, you should use a combination of cardiovascular activity and strength training to help you manage your weight. Gaining extra weight at any age is often a leading culprit for a host of health problems like hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, mental illness, and just about any cause of death. So keep your weight in check to reduce these risk factors.
Improves your mood and reduces depression
Research shows that regular exercise can be an instant mood-booster. It increases endorphins, or the “feel-good” chemicals in the brain. It helps you feel better about yourself, which creates a virtuous cycle leading you to maintain other good habits like eating healthfully and getting enough sleep.
Exercise doesn’t need to be high-intensity to give you the benefit of lower anxiety and lower risk of depression. A 30-minute walk through your neighborhood is a great baseline to shoot for every day.
Reduced risk of chronic or severe illness
Whatever the ailment, most of the time, exercise is strongly recommended to reduce your risk of that ailment. Getting your CDC-recommended total of 150 minutes weekly of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise helps lower the risk of many cancers, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, and much more. Exercise can also improve your immune system and the functioning of your digestive system.
Exercise can also help you out if you’re struggling to get the right amount of sleep after age 65. It seems cruel, but after years of working and living by a certain schedule, changing that routine can disrupt your sleep patterns.
Exercise helps people with sleep problems. Physical activity helps tire your body, making it easier to fall asleep and sleep deeply.
Maintain cognitive function
As Alzheimer’s, dementia, and general decline in cognitive function become more of a concern the older you get, exercise can help. Physical activity is important in helping you keep your brain in tip-top shape for as long as possible. Exercise is shown to lower the risk of cognitive decline and various types of dementia, which leads to better quality of life.
Reduce pain and prevent injury
As you get older, a certain amount of increased general pain is somewhat to be expected. Exercise is often prescribed as a means of reducing pain and other symptoms of illness. Check with your doctor to be sure your chosen activity is safe, but know that movement is often the best way to keep your body in motion.
Exercise can also help prevent injury, which is a big concern for folks over 65. The risk of falls increases, along with risk of broken bones and other injuries. But regular exercise lowers your injury risk. Incorporate stretching and strength training to maximize muscle strength and flexibility.
Improve all aspects of health
Exercise, when done correctly and safely, is amazing for your overall health. It helps improve your balance, flexibility, strength, heart function, mental capacity, and more. Whether you choose to hike on local trails, spend time in the garden, practice yoga, walk along the golf course, swim, or try other types of exercise, staying active is important for improving and maintaining your maximum level of health.