Reasons to keep Fit as You Age

How independent you are often depends on how well you can function physically. While this is one of the best reasons to stay physically active, it’s not the only one.  Here’s a list of eight reasons why you should make physical activity a priority in your daily life.

  1. 1.      Increases bone density and limits osteoporosis.

The best exercises to increase bone strength include weight-bearing exercises (like walking) and resistance exercises (like weight lifting). However this does not mean you have to become a competitive walker or body builder, just living an active lifestyle you will help your bones stay strong.

 2.     Increases your independence.

One of the main points of being active is to maintain your ability to function. Studies show that those who exercise over their lifetimes are more likely to avoid falls and disability as they age.

 3.     Increases your metabolism.

As strength training increases muscle mass, it also increases metabolism. One of the benefits of this is that your body uses more of the calories you take in because your resting metabolic rate increases, which leads to less body fat and easier weight control. Keeping yourself at a healthy weight will lower your risk for health problems. Remember that even being just a few pounds overweight can put you at higher risk for many health problems.

 4.     Reduces your risk for falls.

Physical activity reduces your risk for fall for two reasons. First, it lets you practice keeping balanced and reacting to things around you. Second, it can help prevent the natural decline of your muscles that help keep you steady.

 5.     Increases flexibility.

Doing exercises that require a full range of movement will help keep you flexible. Any kind of activity will produce results, so choose to walk instead of drive or rake the leaves in your lawn instead of using a blower.

 6.     Gives you a reason to socialize.

One of the best strategies for increasing your activity is to exercise in a group, so exercise can lead to new friends. For opportunities ask your friends, check your local senior center, or look at the bulletin boards in local health clubs for exercise groups for seniors.

 7.     Improves your mood.

Exercise is a good way to improve your mind. Studies show that exercise reduces depression, and has the ability to lift your self-esteem.

 8.    Physical activity helps your entire body.

As you age the body’s systems weaken, but much of it occurs because of a lack of physical activity. Exercise can slow this breakdown and help you continue to live well.

Remember: if you are thinking about increasing your daily activity level, be sure to talk to your doctor first. For more information about exercise and aging check out the Soundpath Health Wellness Library on www.SoundpathHealth.com.

 

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