Fitness Over 60: How Fitness and an Active Lifestyle Play an Important Role in Improving a Senior’s Quality of Life
People over the age of 65 make up nearly 17% of the American population and, thanks to advances in modern medicine, this figure is set to rise. In fact, by 2030, there will be more than 20 million over sixties in the US alone.
However, living longer does have its downsides. In order to maintain a healthy and fulfilled lifestyle, you have to look after your body. That is why fitness over 60 has never been more important!
Not clear on how keeping active could improve your quality of life? Then you have come to the right place!
Read on to find out about the benefits of staying active in your sixties and beyond!
Keeping Fit Prevents Disease
Staying active has huge benefits for all areas of your physical health.
It helps weight management and can improve your blood pressure when you exercise regularly. Because of this, it lowers the chances of you developing heart disease or diabetes, which are common conditions for older patients.
Fitness in seniors can also help fight off short-term illnesses as well. This is because exercising improves your immune system, which helps your body fight back against diseases.
As you get older, your immune system can become weaker. However, you can combat this by exercising regularly.
An Active Lifestyle for Seniors Benefits Their Mental Health
Aging does not just affect your body’s physical health. For some people, it can have a huge impact on their mental health as well.
Some older people find that they experience feelings of isolation, loneliness, or even depression. For others, losing a sense of purpose when they leave work can be extremely challenging.
Getting regular exercise can really support you when you are going through these years. There are several reasons why it is so effective.
For starters, exercising releases endorphins into your bloodstream. These are essentially ‘feel good’ hormones, which will boost your mood and relieve feelings of stress or anxiety. This is why regular exercise can have a huge effect on your mood if you are feeling down.
Exercise can also help to regulate your sleeping patterns. You may not realize it, but poor mental health almost always affects your sleep. In turn, a lack of sleep will leave you feeling worse – so it’s a vicious cycle.
By regulating your sleep, you can manage some of your most disruptive symptoms, which will help you to feel better.
Finally, regular exercise gives you a sense of purpose and routine which can have a huge impact on your life. It can make you feel like you are in control of your daily activities and encourages you to learn new skills. This is a huge benefit for anyone over the age of sixty who is struggling with their mental health.
It Lowers the Chance of a Fall
As your body ages, you often lose muscle and flexibility in your joints. This means that you are more likely to experience balance difficulties or to fall easily.
Unfortunately, the consequences of a fall also become more serious as you get older. Recovery can take a long time and your body may not repair itself in the same way that it used to.
Exercising in seniors is a great way to maintain muscle mass and flexibility. This has a huge impact on your balance and coordination, which means you can lower the chance of having a fall.
Because of this, it is a good idea for all people over the age of sixty to exercise regularly. This does not mean you have to push your body either. Going for a gentle stroll or taking up gardening is a great way to keep your body active without over-doing it.
Physical Activity is a Great Way to Socialize
Over one-third of the older American population has reported feeling lonely or isolated at times. This often increases as people become more isolated, leave work, or find it more difficult to get out and about.
A lot of fitness activities for the over 60s offer people a way to socialize. It is not all running in the park or hitting the gym. Going to group fitness or dance classes for the over 60s is a great way of getting together with people.
Some activities, such as joining a walking club or gardening group, mean you have someone to talk to while staying fit. This is also a great way to get into fitness if you don’t fancy more traditional sporting activities.
Fitness Over 60 Improves Cognitive Function
All physical activity works your motor skills and this plays a key role in improving cognitive function.
By using your brain more during physical activities your brain remains more active generally. This is why people who stay active in their later years have a lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Most fitness activities encourage this type of cognitive activity. Some sports encourage hand-eye coordination while others challenge your fine motor skills. Whatever you do, your brain will reap the rewards.
To really put your brain through its paces, try doing a few different activities regularly. For example, seated yoga works very different parts of your body to a dance class. This will help to keep different parts of both your brain and body active!
Find Your Fitness Community Today
As you can see, fitness over 60 is vital if you want to maintain a healthy body and mind in your later years. That is why the Sonnet Hill assisted living community provides plenty of opportunities for social fitness activities on a regular basis.
To find out more about this community, get in touch to book a tour today. One of our team will be happy to help you.