There are some things in life that are completely out of our control. The most obvious is the passage of time. As much as we try to fight it, the aging process catches up to all of us. At some point, it begins to affect our health. Conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and loss of bone density can all occur in our later years. Our mental well-being can also become affected. Dementia and depression can be common among the elderly. There is no way to reverse the aging process, but there are many ways to improve our physical and mental health as we grow older.
Throughout the country, fitness clubs and programs are catering more and more to seniors. Regular exercise has been shown to increase bone density, which helps protect against fractures. If a bone fracture does occur, higher bone density speeds up the healing process to ensure continued independence. Of course, you want to make sure that any exercise program is approved by your physician.
Activities and exercises that focus on balance are particularly important. Falling for the elderly can be particularly life altering. According to the Nation Institutes of Health, over 300,000 people were hospitalized for broken hips last year; the majority of which were seniors. Many weight barring exercises and aerobics can be performed from the comfort of our own homes. Visiting Angels, a home care organization, has seen a rise in seniors performing endurance, balance, and strength exercises.
Endurance training can be a walk around the block or using a treadmill at a low and comfortable pace. An excellent way to improve balance is by standing behind a chair and lifting each leg to your side while keeping your back straight. Remember that having someone spot you while performing these routines will always be a good idea.
Core muscles include the abdomen, lower back, and thighs. With a few minor changes to our sitting habits, for example, our core will benefit greatly. The average adult will spend anywhere from four to eight hours a day sitting in front of a television. During this time, we should be sitting completely straight with our feet flat on the floor. The stability of our lower and middle vertebrae can improve by just using correct posture.
By staying healthy and avoiding injuries, we will be able to maintain our independence for years to come. As people live longer, it is more important than ever to make exercise a part of our daily lives. Keep a positive attitude and if you need assistance, reach out to the various professionals that cater to older Americans.