October 3-9, 2022, is National Active Aging Week, which celebrates and promotes the benefits and pleasures of aging with comfort, dignity, and enhanced quality of life by staying active. It is a great reminder that aging presents challenges to all of us that regular activity can help mitigate.
The Benefits of Staying Active as We Age
According to the CDC, staying active is a critical factor in maintaining physical and mental health as we grow older. Activity has benefits that include:
- Making it easier to live independently
- Reducing the risk of injury like falling
- Lowering the risk of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes.
- Increasing the quality of life for people with chronic, disabling conditions
- Helping maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
- Controlling joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis.
In addition, physical activity has been shown to have a beneficial effect on mental health, reducing anxiety and depression, which are frequent challenges for older adults.
No Need to Run a Marathon
Active living does not necessarily need to be extreme. While some people are life-long athletes who continue to participate in a variety of sports as they age, it is possible to get the benefits of active living through less rigorous activities. Studies have shown that older adults can benefit from small, intermittent daily exercise, which can be as simple as gardening or walking. The goal should be a regular activity that presents a challenge. In fact, the AARP recommends very short workouts as the ideal form of exercise to maintain health and energy.
Some Tips for Getting Started
It’s never easy to start an exercise program at any age. But the benefits are worth the effort. Before getting too aggressive, it’s a good idea to talk to your physician to see if they have recommendations based on your particular health and wellness. Once you pick one or more activities, here are some important reminders:
- Stay hydrated. It’s not only good for your body, but it will also help make the most of your exercise
- Plan time to warm up and cool down with some stretches to avoid injury
- Try a variety of exercise types like walking, swimming, or yoga to see which is the most fun for you.
- Find a friend, family member, or trainer to work out with you – it’s more fun and safer too.
At SmithLife Homecare, we work with our clients to be able to live their best lives with maximum independence. We see the benefits of regular exercise, and we encourage our clients to find ways to stay active. Whether it’s transportation to the pool, a walk around the block, or other assistance, we always try to partner with our clients in maintaining an active lifestyle. To learn more about our services, contact us today.