Everybody understands the importance of keeping fit –we should all exercise regularly but we receive so many, often conflicting, messages from various sections of the media, friends, family, health and medical professionals that it’s sometimes hard to know what amount of exercise to do. But one things certain, most of us don’t do enough but just why is it important to keep fit – particularly as we age?
Exercise Boosts Our Mood
Even something as simple as a walk every day will help improve your mood and can avert feelings of depression. Getting out in the fresh air whatever the weather is important whatever your age. However, it’s not always easy when you are older and less mobile. This is where it can be difficult for people living alone to be motivated to go out. For those people lucky enough to have a good carer (either a family member or a professional carer) they can encourage you to take a daily walk and come along with you to reassure you if you are not confident mobility wise.
People are generally less fit and mobile as they age so the risk of falling is greater. According to research by The Live-in Care Hub falls are the most common reason for people over the age of 65 to be admitted to hospital. It is even more common for those living alone who don’t have home care services watching out for them.
Staying mobile and active is the easiest means to reducing your risk of a fall; people might think that staying at home sitting down will limit falls but, in fact, this behaviour is just contributing to the risk and making a person less fit by the day, week and month.
Have a Healthy Heart
We often forget but our heart is also a muscle and just like the muscles in our arms and legs it can deteriorate in strength as we get older. So it’s a good idea to encourage it to work harder from time to time and this is easy to do just by walking too or perhaps swimming if that’s something you enjoy. A healthy heart, just like a healthy body can help you avoid or minimize conditions such as high blood pressure.
Speed up your metabolism
A faster metabolism can help all of us avoid gaining excess weight but this is even more important for those in their later years because weight gain can contribute to type 2 diabetes in older people and also brings with it an increased risk of heart disease.
Obviously excess weight also makes it harder to stay mobile contributing to the issues we have already discussed. People can quickly end up in a cycle of over-eating, gaining weight and becoming less mobile because it’s harder to exercise when you are carrying excess weight. Keeping active will make it easier to avoid this cycle.
Having fun with your grandchildren
Last but not least, if you are fit and active in your later years you will be able to have more fun with your grandchildren. Playing balls games, walking in the park or going swimming with them are perfect opportunities to share in their lives – and who would want to miss out on that