Monday, May 30, 2016

The Importance of Seniors Keeping Fit & Healthy

To commemorate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we have compiled several reasons why seniors need to make sure they are fit and healthy. The importance of staying in tip-top shape can’t be stressed enough, even more so for seniors in long term care programs since health is one of their most treasured possessions that need to be taken care of and prioritized. So chin up, and let’s get physical with the first point in our list below:

Improves Muscle Strength

Sarcopenia, the degenerative loss of muscle tissue, is a common aging disease that most seniors have to deal with. Seniors with this disease are more likely to experience a fall, which may then result to even more serious injuries. To add more insult to the damaging possibilities, a study that was done by the Centersfor Disease Control and Prevention revealed that $34 billion are spent annually, to cover for fall injuries encountered by individuals aged 65 and up.

To counter this, seniors need to be part of an exercise program that focuses on building and improving muscle strength. If possible, weight lifting or resistance training may be the best way to build up and improve muscle strength and mass. An alternative to lifting is Tai Chi, wherein fluid and relaxed body movements will help strengthen and flex muscles, and improve on one’s balance as well. Additionally, a diet rich in Vitamin D and Calcium is recommended for strength training.

Improves Breathing

Another key point that seniors need to know about the importance of keeping fit is that it helps improves one’s breathing. Aerobic exercises offer cardiovascular benefits, such as keeping one’s heart rate up and breathing. To add variety with aerobics or cardiovascular exercises, the elderly can join in groups such as Zumba or dance classes, bringing much-needed fun and excitement in keeping fit and healthy.

Prevents Diseases

One of the most important benefits that seniors can get with prioritizing their health is that it can help prevent diseases from occurring. Committing to and maintaining a healthy lifestyle (such as doing the exercise programs mentioned above) will allow the elderly to lower the risk of having heart diseases and avoid the painful experience of having high blood pressure. Exercises, like those stated above, will prevent accidents like falls from happening, by providing the strength and balance needed to stand, sit, and move.

A healthy lifestyle also involves having a healthy diet. Choosing and eating the right food will result in seniors having the proper and needed nutrients needed for their age. The combination of great exercise and diet can boost a senior’s metabolism, granting more opportunities to enjoy food intake.

More Opportunities to Spend More Time with Family and Friends

For group sports events, not only will seniors keep and get healthy together, but a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction from working and playing as a team can be gained as well. This is important, especially for seniors in nursing homes – having an activity to focus together as a team fosters friendship and camaraderie.

For those with limited mobility, National Physical Fitness and Sports Month can still be enjoyed with simple exercise activities and mental games and events. Some examples of alternative exercises are Wheelchair Yoga, hand massages, stretching, brisk walking, and breathing exercises. For mental games and the likes, board and card games can be played to stimulate the mind. Video games are also suggested – not only will the senior enjoy the advancement of technology, video games can also be a good avenue to connect to the younger generation (whether they may be their children or grandchildren, or caregivers in nursing homes and care facilities).

Ultimately, keeping fit will allow seniors to manage stress and look forward to the other blessings that they have in their life. Working out and playing together – whether with other seniors or with loved ones and family – will give the elderly a clear and healthy perspective on life. Best of all, the bonds created while keeping fit is an experience that seniors will definitely prize for life.

We hope that you get to enjoy National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Do you have other suggestions on why and how seniors should prioritize keeping healthy? Share it with us in the comments section! Or if you want to start planning for your healthy and safe future, you can start the ball rolling by requesting for a long term care insurance quote here. After all, it’s never too late to plan and prepare for your future (long term care and whatnot) future!